Some days I have to work a very long 12 hours. A 12 hours in a busy O.R. that wipes me out. A 12 hours that isn't as easy to recover from as it used to be. These are the days that cooking is the very last thing I want to do at the end of the day. Eating a hot, home-made dinner however, is just what I do need. Dilemma.
Crock Pot to the rescue! I keep most of these ingredients stocked in my pantry and only had to pick up some chicken thighs as we have been really limiting chicken lately for various reasons (read more about this life changing decision in my post/rant here). Also, I have been trying to not eat meat for dinner since IMO it isn't good for your body to be digesting meat while you sleep. Meat takes several hours of hard work for your GI system to digest and disrupts sleep.
Chicken Tagine is a classic Moroccan dish made several in several yummy variations but usually with the spices ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika and turmeric. Tajines are slow-cooked stews braised at low temperatures, resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce. The best thing about Chicken Tagine is that you can throw in any combination of your favorite ingredients such as dried fruits, nuts, olives, veggies, preserved lemon, honey ect. and as long as you use the classic base of spices and tomatoes you've got yourself a Moroccan Delight!
I love my veggies and so I threw in some diced eggplant along with my olives, dried apricots and fresh cranberries. *On a side note, I don't think I will use fresh cranberries next time as they were pretty tart, or maybe I'll just use less to compliment the other flavors without over powering them.
A pretty Tagine pot is on the top of my wish list. I use a 'crock pot' for now ;)
Recently, European manufacturers have created tajines with heavy cast-iron bottoms that can be heated on a cooking stove to a high temperature. This permits the browning of meat and vegetables before cooking.
PRINT THIS RECIPE
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 large onions, thinly sliced
4 large carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup green olives, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup water
1 cup couscous
* Searing the chicken before adding it to the crock pot is important to lock in flavour.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken pieces and eggplant in the heated oil; stir and cook until the chicken is browned on all sides but not cooked through. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Place the browned chicken and eggplant on the bottom of a slow cooker. Layer the onion, carrots, cranberries, and apricots over the chicken.
Whisk together the chicken broth, tomato paste, lemon juice, flour, garlic salt, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Pour the broth mixture into the slow cooker with the chicken and vegetables.
Cook on Low setting for 8 hours.
Bring water to boil in a saucepan. Stir in couscous, and remove from heat. Cover, and let stand about 5 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
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I'm sending this over to Potluck Fridays at eKats Kitchen!