Recipe: Chicken, Spinach, and Dried Fruit Tagine

As if anyone should need an excuse to indulge in the enjoyable endeavor that is cooking in a tagine, this recipe allows me to create something delicious while doing that very thing. Although the sweetness of fruit is a taste not commonly associated with chicken, it plays nicely with this dish’s more savory flavor notes. I prefer serving it over steamed white rice, however, that is but one of many ways to enjoy a dish that, owing to potatoes being part of the recipe, works just as well without the additional starch.  Serve it alone, or omit the potatoes and have it over angel hair pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes
  • 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 2 tbsp basil-infused olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 4-6 washed baby red bliss potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4-5 dried figs, chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins

Directions:

  1. In a large Ziploc bag, combine the garlic paste, cumin, cinnamon, and black pepper, and blend thoroughly.
  2. Add cubed chicken to the bag and seal it.  Massage the bag until all surfaces of the meat are coated with the blended spices.  Allow this to marinate for a minimum of 20 minutes, but not longer than overnight.
  3. Add olive oil to tagine over medium heat.
  4. When tagine and oil are thoroughly heated, add marinated chicken and cover tagine.  Let cook without lifting lid for 3 minutes, after which, occasionally check and turn chicken pieces until brown.
  5. Add potatoes, spinach, figs, lemon juice, and raisins.  Carefully fold tagine contents together until thoroughly blended.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes at medium heat, folding contents occasionally, then reduce heat and let simmer without lifting lid for an additional 5 minutes.
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