Jack is Cooking with a Tajine

Well Hello Internet!

This post has been sitting in my computer waiting for some attention for quite a while now, but finally here it is!  Two weekends ago i made a semi-traditional Moroccan dish using my Mom’s Tajine.

Tajines are pretty awesome.  Heres what wikipedia has to say about them:

tagine or tajine (pronounced /tɑːˈʒiːn/Arabic: طاجين, pronounced [tˁaːdʒiːn]) is a type of dish found in the North African cuisines of AlgeriaMorocco, andTunisia, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish, known as Tavvas, is found in the cuisine of Cyprus. The traditional tagine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts; a base unit which is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that rests inside the base during cooking. The cover is so designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving.

here’s what it looks like:

Anyways, i made a buttercup squash Tajine (but you can use any kind of winter squash.  i LOVE winter squash!)  for the most part this dish is really easy to make.  If you don’t have a Tajine, you can make the same thing in a casserole dish, but it will come out differently because of the lack of the magic cone shaped top.

To accompany this Tajine, i also made some chicken.  i’ll talk about that in a bit.

so heres what you’ll need:
For the Tajine:
squash (of any winter variety)
whole cloves of garlic (a whole bunch)
shallots (depending on the size maybe 5 or 6)  also whole.
olive oil
harrisa paste
saffron (optional)

For the Chicken:
Chicken split breast (i recommend Herondale Farm chicken!)
yogurt (2 cups)
whatever spices you want

So First i chopped up the squash (well i didn’t, but somebody did!  haha)
and we peeled the shallots and the garlic

* update! *  it has been pointed out to me that credit is due!  Roland, chopped up the garlic and the shallots!
and Julie cut up the Squash!  haha.  always give credit where credit is due!  i knew i didn’t chop that stuff up…

Then i took the Chicken, and marinated it in the yogurt along with some onions i had sauteed along with some indian spices that i don’t know the name of.  i will try to find out the name and update this post!!  so yeah, take the sauteed onions and mix it with the yogurt and let the chicken sit in it for maybe 30 minutes:

Now for the Tajine!
first take a couple good dregs of olive oil and start cooking the shallots and garlic over a medium heat.

once they are getting a little soft add in 1/3 cup of almonds, and 1/3 cup of raisins.   Cook for 5 minutes.

Next add in the squash and get it coated in the oil.  (ALSO!  put the chicken (yogurt and everything!) in a baking dish, and bake it in the oven at 375° for about 30 minutes )

After the Squash has been added its time to spice the dish up.  The only thing that is complicated about this dish is finding Harissa Paste.  this basically makes up the Tajine flavor.  (WARNING) this stuff is MAD spicy!!!, so dont use too much.  i used 2 teaspoons, i could have used a little more but not a whole lot.  so throw that in, along with 2 tablespoons of honey.
The Harissa Paste and the honey will melt into the oil.  toss everything around so everything is nicely coated in the oil.  Then add some water to the pot.  just enough to cover the entire bottom of the pan, but you don’t want everything swimming in it.  This is going to steam everything

Well that’s pretty much it!  oh yeah, i added some saffron just for kicks.  then i put the top on and let it sit for 20 minutes steaming away!

20 minutes later this is what came out!  everything was all soft and delicious and had soaked up all the flavor of the Harissa.
A couple of minutes later the Chicken was ready – check to make sure its cooked all the way through

Here it is all on a plate, chicken, tajine, also served along side some brown rice and some sauteed greens.
Lemon slices are always good too for both the chicken and the Tajine!

MMM MMMM MMM delicious!!!

2 thoughts on “Jack is Cooking with a Tajine

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