Recipe by Lori Ross
The word tagine refers to the finished dish as well as to the earthenware pot topped with a conical lid in which it is traditionally cooked. Tagines are made of meat, fowl, or seafood, and fresh seasonal vegetables or fruit, and flavored with exotic herbs and spices.. Tagines are served from a communal dish set in the center of the table, and tradition warrants the use of chunks of warm bread to sop up the exquisite sauces.
1 cup uncooked couscous (regular, whole wheat or Israeli couscous)
3 cups boiling water, salted
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1½ inch strips
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium-sized zucchini, diced
1/3 cup drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbsps raisins
1 1/2 tsps ground cumin
1 tsp crumbled saffron threads
1/2 tsp each of ground allspice and nutmeg
3 tbsps chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Combine 1 cup couscous with 3 cups salted boiling water in a saucepan. Cover and lower heat to simmer 5 minutes until all water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken, onion, zucchini, and tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until chicken is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except the couscous and cilantro, bring to a boil and add couscous, cover, and remove
from the heat. Let stand for 5 to 7 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff
the couscous with a fork.
Lamb or Beef Tagine: Replace chicken with cubes of lamb or beef simmered to tenderness and replace raisins with prunes; replace saffron, allspice and nutmeg with cinnamon, honey and sesame seeds.
Seafood Tagine: Replace chicken with shellfish and/or and omit raisins, allspice and nutmeg . Add ½ cup crushed or diced tomato and increase ground cumin to 2 Tbsps