This week on Sara’s Table, Sara shares a recipe that will allow you to maximize your time relaxing and offer something divinely delicious to your friends for dinner. This Chicken and Chickpea Tagine combines the stick-to-your-bones protein of Chicken and Chickpeas with the sweetness of sweet potatoes and dried fruit, all doused in intense cinnamon, ginger, coriander and vanilla spicy goodness. It tastes like it took hours and hours to prepare, but it is as simple as throwing some things into a pot and letting them simmer until you are ready to eat.
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1⁄2 to 2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; drain excess liquid)
1 sweet potato peeled and cubed (1/2 inch cubes)
4 cups chickpeas (canned are fine; drain and rinse first)
1⁄2 cup chopped dried apricots or figs
8 chicken thighs, or 4 leg-thigh pieces, cut in two
Put oil and butter in a large skillet or casserole, which can be covered later, and turn heat to medium high. When butter melts, add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, a large pinch of salt and spices. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, sweet potato, dried fruit and vanilla, and bring to a boil. (If mixture is very dry, add about 1/2 cup water.) Add salt as necessary.
Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, and nestle them into sauce. Cover, and 5 minutes later adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Cook until chicken is very tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Then garnish, and serve with rice or couscous.
Adapted from Mark Bittman at the NYT Cooking