Iraq…

Friday, April 26 –

This dinner was almost perfectly made for four people. We had WingWoman, LightsOn, BestestFianceEver, and yours truly.

I started by chopping the prunes and apricots up, putting them in a bowl, covering them with water, and leaving them on the counter for about three hours. Then I took chicken thighs, removed the skin, and fried photo(3)them in hot oil until they were browned on both sides. Then I put the drained prunes and apricots in a glass baking dish and pushed them to the sides. I added the chicken thighs in the middle. Then I fried the onion and garlic in the leftover oil and chicken bits, adding the spices, broth, honey, and cornstarch/lemon juice mixture after the onions were soft and brown. Stirring well to mix in the cornstarch and to scrape off the last chicken bits, I let the liquid boil for a few minutes. After I was sure it was all hot and mixed together I poured the liquid and onions over the top of the chicken, apricots, and prunes. Covered with foil and into a 350* oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkled with sliced almonds and served for dinner.

LightsOn made the filling for a dish that is lamb, onion, and spices cooked until done and then shoved into hand-rolled pockets of rice-dough stuff. Then we fried the rice pockets. It was extremely sticky/messy/hilarious. But the recipe we used didn’t have much flavor to it, so it turned into a way to soak up the sauce from the tagine.

Iraq
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.epicurious.com)

Chicken and Prune Tagine

  • 4 oz Prunes
  • 4 oz Dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup Toasted split almonds
  • 3 tbl Extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 Portions chicken
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 20 Grinds black pepper
  • 1 lrg Onion
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Ground turmeric
  • 3 Cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp Ground ginger
  • 2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cup Chicken stock or half stock, half white wine
  • 1 tbl Honey
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Lemon juice or water

Cooking Instructions:  Several hours in advance or overnight, soak the dried fruit in water to cover. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Fry the almonds in the hot oil over moderate heat until golden brown, then drain on paper towels and reserve. Remove the skin and any visible fat from the chicken portions, thoroughly dry them, then season with the salt and pepper. Fry the chicken in the hot oil until rich brown on all sides, then lift out and drain on paper towels to remove any surplus fat. Lay the pieces side by side in a lidded casserole and surround with the drained fruit. In the same oil gently sauté the finely chopped onion and garlic until they turn a rich golden brown (keep the pan lid on for 5 minutes to soften them in the steam, and then remove it to finish the browning). Add the spices and stock and honey. Stir well to release any crispy bits adhering to the base of the pan, then bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixed with the lemon juice (or water, if wine has been used). Pour over the chicken. Cover and bake for 1 hour, or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Do not overcook as the chicken will soften during the reheating. Garnish the dish with the fried almonds.

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About devouringworldbites

A girl on a mission to cook, eat, and write about the world, one country at a time. View all posts by devouringworldbites

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