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Vaguely Moroccan Chicken
I just finished eating my portion of what turned into a delicious -- and easy -- dish, invented this evening while I unsuccessfully tried various spells to make the kitchen floor clean itself:
• Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (or whatever the equivalent is in more ten-centric places)
• Get out a relatively deep oven-safe dish with a lid, such as a Le Creuset cassarole or, for the more impecunious, one of the larger white Corningware products
• Cut up two onions and place in the bottom of the dish
• Peel and section four or five tangerines and add to the dish
• Add a goodly number of raisins to the dish as well
• Dust liberally with cumin and lightly with "sweet" spices such as mace, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg
• Add ground red pepper according to your preference
• Splash with white wine, taking care not add too much liquid
• Add a few drops of almond extract, if you have it, or perhaps some amaretto or another nut-based liqueur; I did the former myself
• Mix everything in the dish together as evenly as possible
• Arrange the pieces of a cut-up chicken over top of the mixture
• Cut two lemons in half, squeeze about half of their juice over the chicken pieces and their bed, then place the four lemon halves upright inside the dish, spaced evenly apart
• When the oven is preheated, place the dish in the oven -- leaving the lid off -- and turn it down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
• Cook for approximately twenty-five minutes per pound of chicken
• Meanwhile, prepare a rice dish. I used a rice cooker and a mixture of white, brown and wild rice, which went very well with the main course
• When the chicken is done -- the innermost portion of the breast should register 180 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer -- turn the oven off and place the cover on the dish
• Let the chicken gently "stew" for another twenty to thirty minutes in the still warm, but turned-off oven
• Remove from the oven and serve
• Be sure to scoop liquid from the bottom of the dish, as well as the tangerines-onions-and-raisins mixture, and spread over top of the rice
• Say "Mmmmmmm" as you consume the dish and, if you want, send me a psychic murmur of thanks
This recipe is good enough that composing this entry made me crave seconds, even though I'm full. And perhaps even thirds!

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Current Location: 85704
Muse: the thrum of Tartit in my memory banks

13 comments or Leave a comment
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: February 9th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i haven't eaten meat in almost nine years, but this actually sounds really good. i love raisins/apricots/dried fruit in more savory dishes.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 9th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks! It would go great with a firm white-fleshed fish, if you eat fish. Or OK eggplant, if you're a strict vegetarian.
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: February 9th, 2008 06:21 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
maybe tofu?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 9th, 2008 06:31 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Hmmmm. I don't like tofu as much with fruit-type dishes. I'd go with eggplant. Or perhaps sweet potatoes.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: February 9th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Just a thought but I think seitan would survive the baking regimen better than tofu. I had a moroccan dish vaguely like this one in an old vegetarian/vegan cookbook of mine that was a staple for me back when I was doing the vegetarian thing seriously. I was never a huge seitan fan but the Moroccan dish was still a favorite. Before baking, it called for a marinade of fresh orange juice and loads of the spices C mentions (I can look up the exact recipe)--the marinade helped the seitan soak up the flavor in a way that it might not do just in the time of baking since it's less absorbent than chicken. But this recipes "stew" step might achieve the same overall effect of the marinade I enjoyed.

C--this dish looks just amazing. I LOVE North African flavors.
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: February 9th, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
oh right, that probably would work out better. for thanksgiving i made a sort of seitan roast/loaf/mock turkey breast thing that was sort of braised in the oven. it was fantastic.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: February 9th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I always had trouble getting seitan to come out well but the marinade seemed to help me. If you have lots of experience cooking with it then you shouldn't have much trouble. My cookbook indicates that I altered the recipe a bit to amp up the spicy factor and cut down on the sweetness--it's from a cookbook put out by Native Foods, a vegan restaurant in LA.

Combine in a blender--

1/2 C olive oil
1/2C fresh orange juice + zest of one orange
juice of one lemon
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp ginger
1 tsp oregano
1.5 - 2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cinnamon or 1/4 cinn and 1/4 allspice
1 - 1.5 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
red pepper flake to taste

The cookbook says Preheat to 425. Marinate the seitan in the baking dish for 20-30 min and drain excess marinade (I think I tend to leave some in for more moisture while baking). Bake for 10-12 minutes and let rest. Serve over couscous or rice.

When I made it, I included bell peppers and slices of sweet onion in the baking dish. The book suggests topping it with a currant chutney, which I've done and which was awesome, but I also opted to just cook the dish with raisins or currants in the baking dish (leaving enough of the marinade in while cooking to plump the raisins.
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: February 9th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
that sounds great. now i have a new recipe to try! thanks!
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: February 9th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Oh, and the cookbook suggests doubling the marinade above if you're going to drain it (ie 1C each of the liquids etc) but I opted for halving it and leaving it in while baking.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 9th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's a good idea. I think you're right about the seitan. I love soy products of that sort. But for some reason they don't sit well with me when combined with citrus. I know that's just my problem, though, since I've heard nice things about other dishes with citrus and seitan and tempeh.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: February 9th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Seitan never sat as well with me as tempeh, but the flavors in this recipe had me sold. And I know getting a serious protein fix that will hold up under meaty food prep can be important for vegitarians. I got too lazy and hence added meat back in--still mostly poultry and fish with some pork now and then. I'll post the marinade ingredients to punkgrrrl's comment above, just for kicks.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 17th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)


I'm new here, just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 17th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Hello

Nice to hear from you.
13 comments or Leave a comment