|Paula Wolferts Chicken Smothered with Tomato Jam Served with Maquoudas|
A few months ago Paula mentioned she had a new recipe for her chicken with tomato jam that would be in her latest cookbook The Food of Morocco. I was intrigued, e-mailed her and asked her for the recipe which she graciously sent to me. It is for this reason that wonderfully warm, spicy aromas are wafting from my kitchen and I am dreaming of Morocco, mosaic tiles, tajines, couscous and drinking mint tea.
There are few countries in the world with a cuisine as colourful as Morocco’s. The vibrant fusion of bright yellow saffron, lush green parsley, juicy red tomatoes, terracotta earthenware and cooking vessels painted in every shade of azure and aquamarine make any Moroccan dish a feast for the eyes before you have even tasted a mouthful.But despite its visual complexity, Moroccan food is surprisingly easy to prepare.
When I think of Moroccan food what first comes to mind is cooking in a tagine.The traditional tagine pot is a glazed or unglazed heavy clay pot used in north Africa, especially in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Lybia. It consists of a base unit which is a flat, circular dish with low sides, and a tall, cone-shaped top with a knob on the top that is used as a handle. This top is designed to circulate steam back to the bottom of the pot and into the cooking food. Paula, a champion of clay-pot cooking, says, “The clay just gives [the food] something that you don’t get from metal. You sense a closer connection to the earth. And isn’t that what we’re looking for in what we eat?”
I trust that those who celebrate had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We certainly have so much to be thankful for these days. One of the simple pleasures is navigating the blogging community and participating where we can. Our group has now reached the halfway point with #25 on the list of Gourmet Live's 50 Women Game Changers. I feel we should break out the latex free balloons and fireworks for this milestone!!!!!! The past few months have flown by as we experiment with dishes from each of the 50 influential women on "the list." We began this journey back in June, can you believe it. Time really does fly!!!!!!!!!! Whether you agree or disagree with the authors chosen fifty and their order it has been an enjoyable and creative outlet to cook from the masters and those we admire. There are even a few bloggers on the list. We have checked out books from the library, borrowed cookbooks from friends, surfed the Internet and browsed our own cookbook collections seeking that one recipe that will highlight that weeks outstanding woman. This group is led by my favourite well-travelled blogger Mary of One Perfect Bite who invited bloggers to travel along on a culinary journey throughout the year. If you would like to join in contact Mary.
When I think of a Moroccan chicken tagine I somehow feel that there should be preserved lemons and olives in there somewhere, but this recipe from Paula Wolfert is a heady mix of fresh garden tomatoes, cinnamon and honey. Unfortunately I do not possess a tagine but I have been gifted a traditional clay pot from Portugal. I am here to tell you you could easily prepare this dish in a conventional pot, or even a saucepan, as long as it has a lid. But for that little bit of Moroccan magic a tajine pot excels in both flavour and presentation. How lovely to place your beautifully shaped and wonderfully coloured pot on the table filled with aromatic dishes. It reeks of exoticism and Morocco. After just over an hour of slow simmering with occasional stirring, the tagine-inspired dish was ready and I had reached my favourite part of the cooking process...eating.
I think they went perfectly with this aromatic chicken tagine!! Her kids were also right and you felt the urge to "lick the bottom ot the tagine."
Mary of One Perfect Bite - Carrot Salad
Val of More Than Burnt Toast - Chicken Smothered with Tomato Jam Served with Maquoudas
Joanne of Eats Well With Others - Butternut Squash and Potato Pie with Tomato, Mint and Sheep's Milk Cheese
Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed - Biblical Breakfast Burrito
The Spice Garden - Risotto of Wild Mushrooms with Truffle Oil
Heather of Girlichef - Poor Mans Bread, Kale and Black Pepper Soup
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney - Provencal Style Beef
Barbara of Moveable Feasts - Prune and Armagnac Ice Cream
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits - Mediterranean Caviar, (Samfaina).
Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen - Preserved Lemons
Annie at Most Lovely Things
**Chicken Smothered with Tomato Jam and Served with Maquoudas**
from The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert
Ecco Press, 2011
- 6 large, fat chicken thighs, 3 pounds, preferably organic and /or air-chilled
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
- Coarse salt (2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons saffron water
- 1/3 cup grated red onion
- 2 tablespoons finely crushed cilantro
- 2 tablespoons thyme or floral liquid honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 pounds red ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted to golden brown in the oven
- 2 pounds Red Bliss or Yukon Gold potatoes
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin, preferably Moroccan
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Pinch each of cayenne, ground turmeric, and freshly ground black or white pepper, mixed together
- 2 large eggs, whipped
- extra-virgin olive oil
- About 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 or 2 lemons, quartered