The Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section Nov. 16 will feature Menu Planner, a weekly feature giving seven days of dinner menus, shopping hints and tips on using leftovers from one meal in a new way later in the week. The section also includes more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (about 4 medium breast halves)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (about 6 medium thighs)
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
2 large onions, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 (2-inch-long) strips lemon zest from 2 lemons
8 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 8 teaspoons)
2 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
1 pound carrots (about 6 medium), peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cups Greek green olives, pitted and halved (see Note)
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
6 tablespoons juice from 2 lemons (for serving)
2 medium garlic cloves, mashed to a fine paste (for serving)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest from 1 lemon (for serving)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves (for serving)
Pat chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. Coat chicken with flour, shaking to remove excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, 6 to 9 minutes. Transfer browned chicken to plate. Repeat with 2 more tablespoons oil and remaining chicken. Transfer to plate.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, lemon zest strips and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until onions are browned at edges, about 7 minutes (add 1 tablespoon water if the pan begins to scorch). Stir in minced garlic, paprika, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in broth and honey, scraping up any browned bits.
Add browned chicken thighs, bring to simmer, and cook 5 minutes. Add carrots and then arrange breasts in a single layer on top of carrots. Return to simmer, cover and cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of a breast registers 160 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer all the chicken to a clean plate and tent with foil. Stir olives and apricots into pot, return to simmer and cook, uncovered, until liquid has thickened slightly and carrots are tender, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, shred chicken into bite-size pieces (alternatively, breasts and thighs can be left whole). Remove strips of lemon zest, stir in the shredded chicken, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve immediately: Stir lemon juice, mashed garlic and grated lemon zest into tagine with the shredded chicken and let sit off heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle cilantro over individual portions just before serving. To store: Let tagine cool, uncovered at room temperature, for 45 minutes. Transfer to as many airtight containers as needed and refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 1 month.
Spoon off and discard any hardened fat from the top and transfer tagine to a Dutch oven. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, gently stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes (adding additional water as needed to adjust the sauce consistency).
Off heat, stir in lemon juice, mashed garlic and grated lemon zest. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle cilantro over individual portions.
Note: If you cannot find pitted olives, and donšt want to pit them yourself, substitute pimiento-stuffed green olives, being sure to rinse them very well under cold running water.
546 calories, 42g protein, 27g fat ( 4g saturated), 37g carbohydrate, 1,388mg sodium, 122mg cholesterol, 4g dietary fiber.
From: The Best Make-Ahead Recipe by the editors of Cookšs Illustrated magazine.