It all began when my friend Brenda sent an " around the World" sampler of tea for me at Christmas. One of the flavors was Moroccan Mint. I love all things mint. I these cookies from Morocco and thought it might be fun to try the two together ( I am an arm chair traveler). Then, I had this brilliant idea of having one of our themed dinners.
... a meal was born!
Chicken Tajine with Almonds and Prunes
- 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
- ½ teaspoon powdered saffron (optional)
- 3 short cinnamon sticks
- 4 ounces butter
- 2 large onions
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 strip lemon peel
- 1 pound dried prunes
- Blanched almonds
- Fresh watercress or mint
- Combine the oil and ground spices in a large bowl.
- Cut the chicken into cubes and chop the onion finely. Put the chicken and onion into the bowl with the oil and spices. Combine well and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the chicken, searing (browning) them lightly on all sides.
- Add any remaining marinade and enough water to cover. Simmer until chicken is tender (about 30 minutes).
- While the chicken is cooking, put the prunes in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring the water to a bowl. Remove the pan from the heat and let them stand for 20 minutes.
- Drain the prunes, return them to the pan, and ladle a little liquid from the meat pan over the prunes. Simmer the prunes for 5 minutes.
- Add the lemon peel, cinnamon sticks, and half the sugar to the prunes.
- Stir the remaining sugar into the meat.
- Arrange the meat on a serving platter. Add the prunes to the meat, and pour the sauce from the prunes over the meat and prunes.
- Boil the remaining liquid from the meat rapidly to reduce it by half and pour over the meat and prunes.
- Melt a small amount of butter in a saucepan and brown the almonds lightly. Garnish the tajine with the almonds and watercress or mint.
- Serve with rice or couscous.