This week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays comes from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Everyday Dorie and I’ve “gone rogue” a bit on this one… Tagine/ Tajine is a North African stew with meats and vegetables, named after the pot it’s cooked in. Dorie’s version is made with chicken thighs and acorn squash but this pairing wasn’t meant to be for me last weekend – I used chicken breast and honeynut squash because that’s what I had on hand. I didn’t get the magnificent presentation Dorie does with gloriously golden chicken thighs and wedges of acorn squash but it worked out ok and was, I think, easier to eat.
Dorie’s version starts out with onions that are slow cooked (in a covered pot with some water and oil) that is meant to bring out their flavour but I’m not sure it really did anything (30 minutes cooked like that). The spice combo used in this recipe is, admittedly (from Dorie), based on what she had on hand, rather than traditional flavours, and uses ras-el-hanout or garam masala, sumac or lemon zest, tumeric and some cayenne pepper. I loved this combo of flavours a lot (and it worked well with cubed squash and chicken breast slowly simmered) but, as is the way with tagines, the “sauce” was thin – Dorie likens it to a “jus” and I just wanted it to be thicker! It was super flavourful but the sauce was more like a soup (I was expecting this) and didn’t “stick” to the couscous I served it with (I knew this would be the case but still…).
This was tasty the day I made it and I gave away all but one portion to some friends who were having a busy weekend – I thought a hot meal would help. I had the last portion the following day and it was much more flavourful – it’s definitely a dish that gets better with time.
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s chicken and winter squash tagine on page 117 of Everyday Dorie.
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