Don't be intimidated by the idea of a tagine—you don't need any special equipment to make this spicy-sweet Moroccan stew.
Better yet, the longer the flavors cook and meld in the pot, the more delicious the dish becomes, which makes it perfect for entertaining since you can make it ahead of time. Here, we've swapped cauliflower for couscous to make the recipe Paleo-friendly.
Yield : 4 servings
Active Time : 30 minutes
Total Time : 1 hour 30 minutes
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons turmeric
A pinch ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large organic chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch square chunks
1 tablespoon ghee
1 red onion, halved, and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 small bunch cilantro
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup dried Turkish apricots, separated into halves
1/3 cup Marcona almonds
Chopped cilantro for serving
Stir together 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat well. Cover and set aside 30 minutes to marinate.
Heat ghee and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in base of tagine (or heavy-bottomed pot) over moderate heat until hot, and brown the chicken, working in batches, transferring browned chicken to a plate.
Add onion and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to tagine and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes, then add the coriander seeds. Continue to cook, stirring, until onions are softened and slightly caramelized, about 4 minutes more. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for an additional 1 minute. Tie cilantro and parsley into a bundle with kitchen string and add to tagine along with 1 cup water, chicken, and any juices accumulated on plate. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, at least 30 minutes.
While chicken cooks, bring honey, remaining 3/4 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and apricots to a boil in a small saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until apricots are very tender and liquid is reduced to a glaze.
A couple minutes before chicken is done, discard bundled herbs and add apricot mixture to tagine. Check for seasoning and add more salt to taste. Serve chicken sprinkled with almonds and chopped cilantro on top.
De-stem cauliflower and break into florets, discarding as much of the stem as possible. Pulse in food processor until it resembles small grains of rice.
Heat ghee in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the cauliflower 3 minutes until it softens slightly. Add in salt, and cook 2 minutes more. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook, stirring constantly, 1 more minute. Check seasoning for salt, and serve alongside the tagine.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont