A Little About Me

New York, New York
As a newly married woman, it has become my mission in life to learn how to cook. Gone are the days of picking up sushi and ordering curries. In order to jump-start my education, I enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education's Fine Cooking I course where I learned the basics, from roasting to boiling to mousse-making (ok, maybe not that basic)! I've attempted to replicate some recipes - somewhat successfully- and create a few of my own. This blog is for friends and foodies and is intended to document my cooking adventures (and occasional fiascoes). Enjoy the pictures and bon appetite!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Tagine for Fourteen

Last weekend, something possessed me to cook dinner for fourteen people (only the closest friends and family, of course)! It was not an easy undertaking, but I managed to put out some tasty dishes and, needless to say, a lot of plates were licked clean. While I made a lot of summery dishes (think gazpacho and watermelon salad), I chose to make a somewhat heavier Moroccan Chicken Tagine, with apricots, garbanzos, onions and carrots for the entree. True, this dish might have been more winter-appropriate, but I was tired of grilling.

The one word of advice I can give regarding this dish is to not use a super high flame - I did and burnt the bottom layer of the pot which ended up giving the dish a smoky flavor, (which some people loved and others didn't care for). As long as you cook the dish over a low or medium heat, you should be just fine!

6 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 tbsp flour
2 large spanish onions, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 bag dried apricots
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen)
1 28 oz can garbanzo beans
3 tbsp honey
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp each of coriander, cumin, cinnamon,
1 tsp each of cayenne pepper, salt, pepper

Start by slicing your onions..........

and your carrots.....

Over medium heat, pour some olive oil in a large pot. Add your garlic, onions and carrots, cooking until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Next, add the chicken stock and gradually mix in the flour, followed by the honey, tomato paste, spices and ginger. Finally, throw in the chicken, chickpeas, apricots and can of diced tomatoes. Mix everything together very well.

Set on low heat and let it cook for about an hour, or longer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the volume in the pot has reduced. When the chicken has fully cooked throughout, taste for flavor and add more spices and honey, depending on your preference. (I added extra cayenne for heat and honey for sweetness).

When all is done and your meal is ready to be served, your dinner guest should look as happy and excited to eat as my father-in-law does in this picture:

...... and this is what an entree for 14 people looks like

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