Chicken tagine with prunes
- 1 three pound chicken, cut into eights, or 3 pounds chicken thighs (I think chicken thighs work best here, but some people like their white meat)
- 1 large grated Spanish onion
- 3-4 large sprigs of fresh coriander, washed well but left whole
- 2 cloves mashed garlic (I left these out on Pesach because my mother hates garlic)
- 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (Moroccans use the dried spice, rather than fresh)\
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks (optional -- nice, but it depends on how the other dishes are spiced)
- large pinch of saffron, toasted in a skillet briefly and then soaked in 1/4 cup water for a few minutes
- pinch of turmeric
- 12 oz. dried pitted prunes
- 1 cup black raisins (optional)
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- Soak prunes and raisins in warm water about 30 minutes.
- If you want a lighter dish, you can remove the skin from the chicken, in which case you should skip step #6, broiling the chicken.
- Put chicken in a pot with onion, coriander, garlic, spices (including saffron water) and salt. Bring to a simmer and stew about 20 minutes.
- Drain the raisins and prunes and add to the chicken, along with the carrots, and cook about 20-25 more minutes until chicken is done.
- Remove chicken from the pot and place skin side up in an oven and broiler safe serving dish.
- Broil chicken until the skin in brown. Be careful that you don't burn it.
- Meanwhile, remove the coriander sprigs and taste the sauce, especially for the balance of heat, sweet and salt. Adjust seasonings if necessary, and boil down until the sauce is thick.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve. It also keeps nicely if you hold it in a low oven, and reheats well, especially if you use the thighs. Serve with couscous, mashed potatoes, rice, kugel on Pesach, or thick Israeli-style pita.
- Serves 4 generously.
Spices on Pesach: Due to changes in the ways that spices are processed, some ground spices may contain hametz. If this is of concern and you cannot find Kosher for Passover spices, you can leave out the turmeric and substitute a 1 tablespoon grated ginger for the dried. The saffron should not present a problem, and black pepper is widely available K for P or may be ground fresh. Pereg, an Israeli brand, produces many K for P spices. Also, Penzeys spices are pure, high-quality, and prepared without any addititives that might contain hametz, such as anti-caking agents. People far stricter than I am use them with confidence.