Mar 30, 2011

Cooking Mei's Way: Chicken Tagine with Couscous

I'm going to let my sidekick do the blogging today.
Hi, I'm Mei Wei and I love to cook. 
I am studying about Marco Polo. The Silk Road was a trade route from Italy to "Cathay" (which we call China today) during the Middle Ages that was used for trading.  They traded silk, salt, pepper, spices, dyes, jewels, pearls, and gold. Europe needed the Silk Road to bring spices, salt and pepper which allowed them to store food without it going bad. Plus it tasted good!
A tagine is a stew from Morocco which is in Africa. The Silk Road did not go through Africa, but the ingredients in a tagine are similar to what Marco would have traded for to use at home in Venice, Italy.
When you eat this you can feel like you're Marco Polo! 
You could prep this in advance. Then just cook it the next day.

Chicken Tagine with Couscous
Prep Time: 20 Minutes                                                     Ready in: 2 hrs. 55 min.
Cook time: 2 hrs. 30 min.                                                 Serves: 6 adults


We left the carrots out of the picture. Sorry.
  • 1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast or thighs - cut into 1 inch pieces (We used thighs)
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
Make it!

Step 1: Have your mom or dad cut up the chicken. You can do the rest with help. My mom decided to brown the chicken, too.
I love to peel carrots.
Dad taught me how to use a knife. That is a tatoo on my hand.

 Step 2:  Make the sauce. Whisk the chicken broth, tomato paste, lemon juice, all-purpose flour (which we did not photograph), ginger, cinnamon, cumin, and black pepper. If you want you can add curry powder and cayenne pepper. We used the curry, but not the cayenne. Too spicy for me.
Grinding pepper is fun!

Whisk the sauce.

Step 3:  Dump, dump, dump the chicken, onions, carrots, apricots, and cranberries or raisins into a 4 quart crockpot. Dump the sauce in too. Cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes on High or 5 hours on Low.
Dump in everything.
Looks good!

Step 4: Make the couscous like it says on the package.Serve the tagine with the couscous.

We watched Cooking Channel and they said that in Morocco everyone in the family sits around the table and eats from one big dish. They take some couscous in their hand and make it into a ball. Then they eat it with their hands. 

Eat it!

Here is the tagine and the couscous!
It smells really good. Go to the bottom to see what my mom and dad said. And a surprise!!!
Can you smell it?
  We all really liked it, but I liked the apricots better uncooked. Mom and Dad added hot sauce. And Dad said next time it would be good topped with yogurt and with pita bread and hummus. I like hummus too!
Mr. Bingley even liked it, but he had to get it in the DISHWASHER!!!!

Let me know if you like this!! Leave a Comment!!



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