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Spicy Chicken Tagine_SAC_10

I love you, tagine. I mean. That’s weird, right? (If you’re wondering what’s a tagine, check out my other recipes here).

Another recipe success from the Balaboosta cookbook. So happy with that gift from N.

This tagine recipe is a very nice balance of flavors, spice, and vegetables. I actually may consider this my favorite tagine recipe that I’ve made. Although, I can’t say that with 100% conviction – I did really, really love it.

Spicy Chicken Tagine_SAC_1

Here’s what you need: chicken thighs (bone-in, skin removed), chicken stock, harissa (from previous post), orange, lemon, Hungarian sweet paprika, cumin, turmeric, garlic cloves, fennel bulb, leek, kalamata olives (or black olives), mint leaves, salt and pepper.

Note: I know this recipe seems like a lot of work – but it’s worth it. I swear.

Get your dutch oven or tagine out and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Get veggies prepared: Peel a small bit of the peel from the orange, and set that aside. Now, juice the orange – to get 1 cup. If you don’t have enough for 1 cup, add premade orange juice (or water).

Peel the 10 garlic cloves – keep them whole (some broken pieces aren’t the end of the world, believe me). clean the leek (slice, and soak in a bowl of water – or, run under water) – then slice into small pieces. Trim the fennel by cutting a think slice from the bottom of the fennel, then remove the tops. Dice into bite-size pieces.

Spicy Chicken Tagine_SAC_2

Now – get those chicken thighs prepared. Note: you can use skin-on and you can use chicken legs and thighs. I like thighs only and I like it without the skin – less fattening. But still delicious. Peel the skin off the thighs, if necessary, and season with 1 t. salt and 1/2 t. pepper.

Spicy Chicken Tagine_SAC_3

Time to incorporate everything: In the dutch oven (or tagine) put the 2 cups of chicken stock, 2-3 heaping tablespoons of harissa, 1 cup orange juice, 2 T. Hungarian sweet paprika, 1 T. ground cumin, 1 t. turmeric, 1 t. salt, and 1/2 t. pepper. Mix mix mix until fully incorporated.

Toss the leek, fennel into the dutch oven. Add the remaining ingredients: 10 peeled garlic cloves (whole), 1 fresh lemon (cut into wedges, seeds removed), 3/4 cup kalamata olives (with seeds removed), and 1 handful of fresh mint leaves (chopped).

Mix.

Spicy Chicken Tagine_SAC_4

Add the chicken pieces to the pan – and you’re ready to get cooking.

Cover with the lid – place into the preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the lid, and continue to bake for 30 minutes. Why? Because this gets the top of the chicken slightly crunchy and the sauce to further reduce. Yum.

Spicy Chicken Tagine_SAC_5

After 30 minutes – remove from the oven and it’s time to eat!

Spicy Chicken Tagine_SAC_7 Spicy Chicken Tagine_SAC_6

I served ours with toasted pita and couscous. DE.LISH.OUS. Ha.

Spicy Chicken Tagine_SAC_9

So good – it’s not hot. Hot spicy. It’s more spicy as in flavorful. And the lemon and orange add such a great flavor. The paprika really shines, with hints of fresh mint and the anise flavor from the fennel.

All in all – you have to try this. It was amazing. The flavors go perfectly together and the chicken is so tender, it’s outrageous. I’m a huge fan.

Note: the adjustments I made from the original recipe: replaced preserved lemon with fresh lemon wedges (I didn’t have any preserved lemons), removed the skin from the chicken thighs, and reduced the amount of leek and fennel (costs!). Just FYI.

Enjoy!

Spicy Chicken Tagine_SAC_8

Spicy Harissa Chicken Tagine 
Adapted from Balaboosta Cookbook
Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 90 min
Click here to print recipe

Ingredients:
3 lbs. chicken thighs – bone-in, skin removed
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed)
1 sliver orange peel (optional)
1 lemon
2-3 T. harissa
2 T. Hungarian sweet paprika
1 T. cumin
1 t. turmeric
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 fennel bulb
1 leek
3/4 c. kalamata olives (pitted)
10 garlic cloves, peeled
1 handful fresh mint leaves

Directions:

  1. Get your dutch oven or tagine out and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prep veggies: remove sliver of orange peel, set aside. Juice orange to make 1 cup of juice (add water or juice to fill remaining). Peel the 10 garlic cloves. Keep them whole. Pit the kalamata olives. Slice and clean the leek. Dice and trim the fennel into bite size pieces. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the chicken:  Note: you can use skin-on and you can use chicken legs and thighs. I like thighs only and I like it without the skin – less fattening. But still delicious. Peel the skin off the thighs, if necessary, and season with 1 t. salt and 1/2 t. pepper.
  4. In the dutch oven (or tagine) put the 2 cups of chicken stock, 2-3 heaping tablespoons of harissa, 1 cup orange juice, 2 T. Hungarian sweet paprika, 1 T. ground cumin, 1 t. turmeric, 1 t. salt, and 1/2 t. pepper. Mix mix mix until fully incorporated. 
  5. Toss the leek, fennel into the dutch oven. Add the remaining ingredients: 10 peeled garlic cloves (whole), 1 fresh lemon (cut into wedges, seeds removed), 3/4 cup kalamata olives (with seeds removed), and 1 handful of fresh mint leaves (chopped). Mix. Add the chicken pieces to the pan – and you’re ready to go.
  6. Cover with the lid – place into the preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour.
  7. After 1 hour, remove the lid, and continue to bake for 30 minutes. (Why? Because this gets the top of the chicken slightly crunchy and the sauce to further reduce). After 30 minutes – remove from the oven and it’s time to eat!

Serve with toasted pita and couscous.
Enjoy!

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