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Tagine M'Derbel Beraniya

By 10:10 AM , , ,

A month or so ago Hubby & I were visiting friends of ours in the Virginia Beach area. They're foodies too and in one of our conversations it came up that we were wanting to buy a Tagine in the near future. As it turned out our friend's mother-in-law had given them a Le Creuset one quite awhile back and they had never used it. They also didn't see themselves using it in the forseeable future.

So, off the next morning we went with their Tagine in hand and the cookbook Cooking at the Kabash: Recipes from My Moroccan Kitchen by Kitty Morse. The book has gorgeous photos and tons of delicious recipes.

I really struggled to pick a recipe to try first from this book. But, the eggplant & sun-dried tomatoes really won me over.

This meal was absolutely phenomenal. The flavors melded together so well and the chicken was extremely moist and flavorful. There was virtually no talking as Hubby & I scooped up the chicken and eggplant/tomato mixture with the pieces of crusty bread from the 100% whole wheat loaf rolled in steel cut oats. We were in seventh heaven! I cannot wait to try more recipes from the gem of a book.

Tagine M'Derbel Beraniya/Tagine of Chicken with Eggplant & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
by Kitty Morse

5 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 lbs chicken, cut into serving pieces
1 cup chicken broth
8 threads Spanish saffron, toasted & crushed
10 fresh cilantro sprigs, tied with cotton string
10 fresh flat leaf parsley sprigs, tied with cotton string
2 globe eggplants, peeled & cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, plumped in water, drained & diced
Crusty bread for serving

In a medium Dutch oven (tagine) over medium high heat, heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the onions, ginger & cinnamon. Saute until the onions are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the chicken, and saute until it turns golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add broth, saffron, cilantro & parsley. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear, 45 to 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the eggplant slices on a clean towel. Salt them lightly on both sides. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat dry with the towel.

Preheat the broiler. Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet lined with foil. Lightly brush the slices with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Broil until light brown, 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Set aside. Reduce the oven to 200 degrees.

When chicken is cooked, transfer it to a baking dish and keep warm in the oven. Discard the parsley and cilantro. Keep the sauce simmering on the stove. Reserve 10 eggplant slices for garnish.

Add the remaining eggplant & the sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce and mash them lightly in the pan juices. Season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens somewhat, 4 to 5 minutes.

Spoon this mixture on the bottom of a large, shallow platter. Top with the chicken and garnish with the reserved eggplant slices. Serve with warm bread.

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