Monday, March 21, 2011

Chicken & Butternut Squash Tagine

Happy Monday guys!  It's a beautiful 79 F here and we're definitely enjoying it while we can!  Hopefully it's here to stay, but I hear through the grapevine that it might get a little chillier later this week.

We ate pretty haphazardly this weekend and have really been feeling the effects of it.  So we've decided we're having a salad week to get back on the "healthy" train.  Seriously, we were getting out of control.  I'm surprised we didn't hold ourselves an intervention.  Do you guys ever get that way?  How do you get back on track?

This is one of those healthy recipes that turned out just okay.  With some tweaking and ingredient swapping, I'm pretty sure it can be stellar.  I just think it was one of those things where I tried to do too much with it.

Adapted from Pham Fatale's recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 dried plums, quartered
4 dried apricots, quartered
1 onion, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon paprika
zest from 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoon honey
1-3 saffron threads
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
8 oz. jar of marinated artichokes, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 large chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
small handful of parsley, chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Toss butternut squash in a little bit of olive oil and place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until starting to brown.

Heat a large skillet under medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and chili flakes until fragrant.  Add 1/2 of the diced tomatoes, coriander, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, garam masala, and paprika.  Cook for another couple of minutes and then stir in yogurt.  Add a little bit of the chicken stock to the mixture and, with an immersion blender, puree the mixture until at a smooth consistency.  Simmer on low heat while preparing the remainder of the dish.

Heat a medium skillet under medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add artichokes and stir fry for just a few minutes.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Using the same skillet, add ginger, lemon zest, bay leaf, plums, apricots, and remaining 1/2 cup of tomatoes.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes.  Add the reserved "sauce" mixture from above, as well as the honey and chicken stock.  Bring mixture to a boil and stir in butternut squash.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes while you prepare the chicken.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven and add chicken pieces.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned.  Don't worry if it's not cooked all the way, because it will finish in the oven.

Pinch saffron threads between fingers to break up and combine with 1 tablespoon of water.  Drizzle the liquid over the chicken in pot.  Pour sauce over chicken and top with reserved artichokes and chopped parsley.

Bake for about 10 minutes and then lower heat to 300 F.  Cook for another 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

Serve with some rice and dig on in!

Like I said, this wasn't mind-blowing, but it wasn't bad either.  I really enjoyed all of the components, separately, but I think together, they didn't quite all work.  I may even try this without the sauce and just transform it into a stir fry!  Enjoy the rest of your Monday guys!


  1. I decided to have a salad week as well...starting tomorrow! :) For tonight, I've had my mind on a pasta with all of last week's leftover veggies thrown in. :)
    Your pictures look great! I've never made a tagine before...may I ask how long this recipe took to make?

  2. Don't you love this gorgeous weather?? This dish is gorgeous too.

  3. Thanks Amy! The dish probably took a little over an hour from start to finish - they're just a lot of prepwork to do, but once everything starts getting cooked, most of it can be simultaneous (i.e. cooking the squash in the oven and making the sauce, etc.)

  4. This looks awesome---there are a lot of ingredients, so I imagine the depth is great! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. A salad week's not a bad idea! I'm having a green smoothie week...because apparently the only way I like salad is when it's mixed up with fruit. Go figure.

  6. I like butternut squash, nice combo with chicken, they imparts sugar taste to dish. love your clicks.

  7. Oh how I love butternut squash! And dried apricots always blends so well with complex spices :)

  8. wow this looks super but I would definately try by replacing the meat with tofu or something as Iam aveggie.Lovely click.

  9. Mmm I love a good butternut tagine! Especially with all that dried fruit mixed in. Sorry it wasn't exactly what you hoped for but it certainly looks delicious!

  10. This looks incredible, girl! Love everything about it! It is perfectly healthy! Well maybe not for me because I can eat a tagine full of this is!

  11. Sorry to hear you weren't crazy about this dish, Peggy. It sure sounds and looks mouthwatering, especially all those spices in it! I like your idea of a salad week, but only if it comes with chocolate for dessert. ;-)

  12. What a yummy delicious looking dish!!! Sorry to hear it wasn't great - coulda fooled me ;)

    Mary xx
    Delightful Bitefuls

  13. How bright and beautiful! I love orange foods, it really gears up my appetite. Is that weird? Oh well. My husband took a while to become accustomed to orange foods (like curries and whatnot), but I don't think it would take much convincing to get him to try this!



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