Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Kitchen, My World: Morocco

I’m a bit late today with my post because I’m still battling a nasty head cold. I reached a point yesterday where I hit up the neighbor kid for codeine cough syrup. That stuff is wicked.

Anyway, this week, My Kitchen, My World, was my choice. With so many countries in the world, it wasn’t easy to select just one. Several years ago I had a most delicious meal at a Moroccan restaurant in Los Angeles (Dar Maghreb), so I decided that Morocco would be my choice. I love the combinations of spice and fruits and the use of couscous and phyllo, and Morocco, like many countries in the Mediterranean region create wonderful dishes with these ingredients.

I chose a recipe from a culinary textbook on international foods. I would like to say that it was a good recipe, but it wasn’t. The resulting food was fine, but the instructions were not the best, so I just sort of meddled with it, using the listed ingredients but cooking it my way. Like Natashya, I made a chicken tagine. Unlike Natashya, mine was totally different and I don’t have a wonderful-cool tagine cooker to use. I will have to remedy that.

In a nutshell, here is my version of chicken tagine, based loosely on the textbook’s version.

Take four boneless, skinless chicken breasts and brown them in olive oil. Set aside. Add two small onions, sliced, along with 2 cloves of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon each of cumin, turmeric, coriander, Kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon each of ginger and pepper. Sauté for 2-4 minutes to soften the onions and bring out the flavor of the spices. Return the chicken to the pan, add enough water to reach about ¾’s up the side of the chicken pieces; cover, simmer for about 10 minutes. Add ½ cup soft, dried apricots, sliced in half, if you wish, and a squeeze of lemon. Cover and simmer for an addition 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is done.

The original recipe used bone-in chicken, didn’t saute the onions., and used a total cooking time of one hour. Experimenting with this recipe would be a good thing.

There was another Moroccan recipe I thought about using. If I have time this week, I will give it a try and post the result. In the meantime, be sure to visit the other blogs participating in MKMW and say hello to Susan.


Megan said...

Let me guess - the restaurant in L.A. was Dar Magreb. We used to go there a few times a year when I was a kid. My brothers always liked the belly dancers!!

Natashya made a tagine also - I've had my eye on a Le Creuset tagine for some time now, so I guess I'll have to make the plunge!!

Judy said...

Absolutely correct. I've put a link in. Thanks for helping me remember.

Dewi said...

Thank you so much for choosing Morocco for this week event. It was so fun, that I made Moroccon dinner for my family for the whole week!

Chicken tajine is always taste good and easy to make. Sorry to hear that you had cold! hope you will get better soon. Cheers.

Andrea at Nummy Kitchen said...

Judy, thanks so much for a fun pick with Morocco this week! Sorry yours wasn't what you expected. It does look nice though. I want a tagine too, I've put one on my Christmas list :) I hope you're feeling better soon, take care!

NKP said...

I loved the Moroccan theme this week, thanks so much for picking it. I did find, when first cooking Moroccan, that the printed recipes needed tweaking. I generally up the aromatics - ginger, garlic, salt etc.
Great pick - see you next week in Argentina.

Roxanne said...

I'm glad you picked Morocco! The Moroccan chicken I made turned out to be my best My Kitchen My World recipe yet. Thanks.