I Dream of Tajine: A New Take on Old World Technique

I Dream of Tajine: A New Take on Old World Technique

If there’s a cuisine I adore, it’s Moroccan.  Savory, sweet and always full of flavor, Moroccan food is simply amazing.

North African countries are credited with the creation of the tajine, a funnel shaped, clay or earthen vessel.  Morocco is credited with the creation of tajine, a fantastic dish typically made from lamb, vegetables and served with cous-cous — cooked in a tajine, naturally!

The most noticeable trait of a tajine is the funnel shaped lid.  This cone is ideal for steam.  The moisture of the food travels up through the funnel and the condensation drops back into the food boosting it with flavor.  Since water is such a precious commodity in dry areas, how clever of desert nomads to create such a cooking vessel!

HSN's gorgeous ceramic tajine

Cooking with a tajine has grown in popularity recently for several reasons.  Health advocates enjoy tajines because they require little or no added fat.  Most tajine recipes call for very little oil added and some none at all.  There is also little need for salt.  Fresh herbs and ground spices are used, which infuse dishes with incredible flavors.  Slow food enthusiasts enjoy tajines because they go into an oven to slowly cook for hours.  Those who enjoy entertaining delight in bringing such a unique dish to the table.  Personally, I love bringing a tajine to a table surrounded with hungry friends, and lifting the lid for a dramatic presentation.  I always get ooh’s and ahh’s!

I am honored to be presenting an exclusive ceramic tajine tonight on HSN.  This beautiful dish comes with a special chicken recipe which I happily share with you here:

Chicken Apple & Raisin Tajine

4 pounds of chicken (cut into pieces)
1 large red onion, rough chop
1 cup raisins
4 cloves of garlic, rough chop
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, rough chop
12 oz chicken stock
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground tumeric
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tablespoons preserved lemon juice
8 saffron threads
3 tablespoons olive oil (for browning)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Saute chicken in a saute pan with olive oil until browned.  Remove chicken and place in the bottom of the tajine.  Saute onion, garlic, ginger and cinnamon and add to chicken.

Add preserved lemon juice, saffron, chicken stock, raisins and apples to the tajine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover with lid and place in oven.  Cook until chicken is cooked through, approximately 75 minutes.

Serve with cous-cous and garnish with chopped parsley and slivered almonds.

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