Chicken Tajine, and all tajines, remain my favorite food and my favorite mode of cooking: On a stovetop. Synonymous with Succulent. No wonder I love Moroccan food!
A friendly warning: You will never be able to speak disparagingly about the lowly prune again after you have tasted this magnificent dish, so find something – or someone else to pick on! You might want to make this dish a day, or even two in advance. Just be sure to add the sesame seeds and almonds immediately before serving so that they retain their crunch.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8 portions chicken, dark and white meat, or all dark
- 2 pinches saffron
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pound pitted prunes, about 2 cups
- ¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Heat the oil in a heavy pot. Add the onions and fry over medium heat until dark. This will take about 30 minutes. Add the sugar and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chicken, saffron, turmeric, cinnamon sticks and ground pepper, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook, covered, for 1 hour. Add the ground cinnamon and the prunes, and cook for 15 more minutes. Gently remove the chicken and prunes with a slotted spoon, taking care not to bruise the prunes, and transfer all to a platter. The liquid left in the pot should be thick and creamy. If it is too thin, reduce it over high heat for a minute or two. Pour over the chicken. Just before serving, sprinkle on the sesame seeds and almonds. Serve hot.