Chicken tagine with prunes
The chicken tajine with prunes is a dish with sweet and savory flavors that we prepare at home during Ramadan or to adorn the table when we have guests. The meat of the chicken and so melting is tasty served with this very translucent onion confit which adds all this extreme taste. And to give more nutritional richness to this dish, we add dried fruits such as prunes, baricots and raisins.
It’s a dish very rich in vitamins, minerals and taste, and every time I present it on my table for my guests, I see them eager to taste it, already out of curiosity because we don’t get into much the preparation of chicken in a sweet version, unless you are a big fan of Asian cuisine or you add sauces such as Thai sauce, yakitori sauce, or teriyaki sauce and so on.
Besides, my husband who is not a big fan of the tajine lahlou as we call it at home, that is to say the sweet dish, whether prepared with meat like the lamb tagine with prunes , or without meat like tajine hlou, never touch the dish even though I only put 2 tablespoons of honey in it.
But when I make Asian dishes or if I serve roast meat with cranberry sauce, it leaves none! In any case, that won’t prevent me from making this dish of chicken tagine with prunes when the opportunity arises and biting into it to the fullest despite it being a very melting dish, hihihi!
How to prepare the chicken tagine with prunes?
When my grandmother prepared this tagine, it had an incredible flavor, and although I redid her recipe to the letter, but I never find this flavor. It must be said that these are not the same ingredients. But grandma prepared the chicken tagine with prunes with smen, or homemade clarified butter, using cow butter so good that her smen was more than tasty. For my part, even if I do like her and prepare the smen at home, I never have the same result.
Then the chicken, my grandmother made her tajine with free-range chicken and that makes all the difference, already free-range chicken is much tastier, and as the meat holds together well, it becomes very tender with slow cooking like my grandmother used to do. She prepared her dish in a large earthenware dish that she put on very low heat and let simmer for hours.
– The first thing to do is to quickly brown the pieces of meat in the mixture of melted smen and oil, to give a golden color to the meat. My grandmother used chicken pieces with the skin on, in my recipe today, I used skinless chicken.
– Then she took out the pieces of chicken, put them aside, and added the onion cut into fairly thin strips to this cooking oil, and she let the onion come back, then release all its water, then become translucent and towards the caramelize a little in your own sugar, this step could take almost 45 minutes or even more depending on the quality of the cooking pot And the cooking temperature.
As my grandmother said: you have to be patient to have a very tasty dish!
– My grandmother would then put the chicken pieces back in the pot, add the honey, the cinnamonthe saffron infused, salt, black pepper, raisins previously swollen in hot water, and its magic ingredient: the juice of an orange! She let it come back a little to caramelize everything, then sprinkle it with boiling water, just 1 or 2 glasses of water, depending on how much of the dish she was going to prepare.
– Again, she put the lid back on and let the meat cook over low heat until it became very tender. This dish is a dish with a reduced sauce, it is barely that towards the end of cooking you will find the equivalent of almost half (1/2) glass of sauce), so do not submerge your dish with water , but watch the cooking, if you think the dish needs more water add just half a glass of boiling water.
– In my grandmother’s traditional recipe, she added just 3 to 4 tablespoons of honey, and the dish had to have all its sweet ingredients: onions, raisins and prunes. But if you find that the dish lacks sugar, add according to your taste.
– I insist once again that it is a reduced sauce dish, so pay attention to the amount of salt in the dish! My grandmother, in order not to fall into the trap of too salty a dish, marinated the chicken pieces in advance in a little salt and black pepper, so the chicken meat absorbed its seasoning well and it had no no need to add salt afterwards in the dish.
– When the chicken meat was tender and cooked, my grandmother added the prunes, left to cook in the sauce until the prunes had puffed up and become tender, she removed the dish from the sauce, and c was ready.
– The last touch was the almonds, my grandmother passed the blanched almonds in a little butter in a frying pan over medium heat, to fry the almonds a little and give them more crunch, and added them to the sauce. Personally I only had slivered almonds this time.
Before seeing this recipe, I share with you my other tajines and sweet dishes:
Chicken tagine with prunes
- of the chicken pieces depending on the number of people
- black pepper
- 1 and 1/2 onion in thin strips
- 150 gr of raisins
- 200 g of pitted prunes
- 2 to 3 vs. tablespoons Honey according to taste
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 vs. v oil
- 1 vs. tablespoons smen
- 1/2 orange juiced
- 1 glass of water + or – depending on the quantity of meat
- blanched almonds
season the chicken pieces with a little salt and black pepper at least 1 hour before preparing the dish and set aside.
melt the smen with a little oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat
add the chicken pieces and watch to give them a little golden color, remove and set aside.
Peel the onions and cut them into thin strips.
Brown the chicken in cooking oil over low heat, stirring occasionally and cover the pot. Leave until the onion becomes very soft and takes on a nice color and caramelizes a little, this step can take 35 minutes or more.
Return the browned chicken to the pot and add the honey, raisins, orange juice and cinnamon and simmer for a few minutes, then add the boiling water.
When the chicken is well cooked and tender, then add the prunes and leave for another 10 to 15 minutes on the heat.
Fry the almonds in a little oil and add when serving on your chicken tajine with prunes.
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