Mediterranean Tagine Trial…

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Lately I’ve been craving sweeter dishes, which is so NOT like me. Ever since Charlotte popped out, I have developed a serious sweet tooth, that I DEARLY wish would go away. However, it got me thinking about how to add sweetness to entrees instead of eating more desserts, and what could I invent to fuel this new craving.  Tonight we made an amazing Mediterranean dish in our Tagine, but you could easily do it in a covered frying pan or pot. We rarely cook with chicken thighs, but I’m starting to really enjoy cooking with them, especially incorporating them into stews. Because he just started his week off, Nick has chosen the last two nights dinners (his faves-Indian and roast beef), so tonight was MY choice; bring on the lean protein and veggies!!! What I love the most about this dish is you could literally eat 3 servings (which we did), and still not feel disgustingly full, because it’s so healthy and light. We served it over some couscous to soak up the amazing sauce (you could use rice, too, if you don’t have couscous handy.)

Char continues to be a maniac, taking down elbow pasta, blueberry pancakes, and toast with jelly as this week’s new dishes. We took her to brunch this weekend, and she was on cloud 9, feeling like a grown up dining out. You couldn’t tear the toast apart fast enough for her…The girl has a thing for carbs, just like her mama. Like I said, Nick is off this week, so we are soaking up every minute with him at home, while trying to plan really fun activities for our mini stay-cation. I’m calling it out now, she’s 100% going to be a daddy’s girl.

Mediterranean Chicken & Olive Tagine 

Ingredients: serving 2-3

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 medium yellow onion (sliced thinly)
  • 1 each small yellow squash and green zucchini (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (sliced thinly)
  • 3/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (or water is fine)
  • 1 tbsp each Ras el Hanout, smoked paprika, salt, and cumin, plus some to spice the chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup flour (to coat chicken)
  • Extra virgin olive oil and/or butter
  • 1 box plain couscous
  • 1/2 cup raisins (for couscous)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (for couscous)

Instructions:

  1. Heat cast iron tagine (or deep frying pan) over medium heat;
  2. Generously sprinkle salt, pepper, ras el hanout, and smoked paprika on both sides of the chicken. Toss in flour, shaking off any excess. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to pan, then add chicken. Cook until both sides are browned, ~5 mins on either side. Remove chicken from pan, leaving excess oil and scrapings to cook the veggies;
  3.  Add sliced onions and garlic to the pan, cooking until just browned, ~5 mins. Add a little more olive oil if necessary;
  4. Add the zucchini, squash, and olives, and spices. Cook until zucchini & squash are just soft, ~5 mins.
  5. Add chicken broth/water. Once everything comes to a simmer, reduce to low heat. Allow to simmer for ~20 mins.
  6. Prepare the couscous, adding the raisins and pine nuts as it cooks.
  7. Serve over couscous.

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