Friday, August 25, 2017

Kitchen Travels: Moroccan-Style Chicken with Lentils and Apricots


Quite some time ago, I mentioned a Moroccan-style chicken dish that Pater makes, and a few of you asked if I'd share his recipe.

And then other night he served it up, with some ever so sweet and succulent local corn, and I made sure to snap a photo before gobbling it up.

You can find the recipe he followed, here.  He's just pulled out the tajine (not required for the recipe I've linked to) for tonight's dinner. I'll have my camera ready, just in case. . . . We haven't been to Morocco (yet!), but we've been inspired by Moroccan friends, by Moroccan restaurants we've visited in Paris (also here) and Bordeaux (and there are finally a few popping up on the local food scene, although Moroccan immigrants have tended to stay on the Eastern side of the country).

What about you? Have you been to Morocco? Has its culinary culture influenced you and/or your kitchen? Do you own a tajine, like cooking with it? And if you'd care to mention or share a favourite recipe, that would be much appreciated, I'm sure, if it's easy enough to fit reasonably into the comments. . . .

33 comments:

  1. Stu and I just returned from New Brunswick, he's golfing today, I'm putting my feet up with my book. And I just figured out what I'm making for dinner! Complete with the corn we bought from the farmer up the road. Thanks!

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    1. Corn from the farmer up the road is the best corn of all!

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  2. I stay away from Moroccan usually because I have an odd unknown allergy that Middle Eastern food surfaced once. I make a lot of Chinese food;).

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    1. Too bad! I find it such a satisfying cuisine, but then, so is Chinese, in all its inflections.

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  3. I donated my tajine because it was one of those seldom used items in my galley kitchen. I have several Middle-Eastern spices and I enjoy using them to flavour meals. My husband is very conservative with his food so ethnic dishes can be served infrequently. I've not been to Morocco and I've probably missed my chance.
    One of my brothers was working in Cairo for a Canadian Overseas school but now he is in Dubai. I could have combined Morocco and Egypt but I'm not interested in Dubai. We're in Coulée country in Central Washington. If we come back through Canada, I will buy some corn in Chilliwack.

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    1. We use our tajine often, but if one of us wasn't keen on the cuisine, it wouldn't be worth the other using it -- our kitchen storage is limited as well.
      That Chilliwack corn is SO good! We've been enjoying corn on the cob two or three nights a week while the season lasts....

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  4. Not so keen on Moroccan food . If I want spicy , it's Indian every time , we love Indian food & have a good choice locally . Perhaps because , being non meat eaters , there is more variety for us there . We have visited Morocco but it doesn't bring back happy memories for us . We were threatened in the souk in Marrakech by someone waving a knife & we witnessed some awful incidents of animal cruelty . Perhaps we were unlucky - & it was twenty years ago , things are probably different now . The Berbers in the countryside were very welcoming though .
    Wendy in York

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    1. Moroccan's not particularly spicy -- at least, it's not "hot." I love Indian as well, but enjoy a variety of cuisines, and in my (limited) experience, there's plenty of vegetarian choice in Middle Eastern food. Such a shame you had a bad experience traveling there. I've heard from many friends who enjoyed the country very much, but I know it's hard to shake off those negative impressions. I'm glad you managed to find goodness in the welcome of the rural Berbers.

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  5. Love tagines. I don't have a special vessel in which to make it so use a large Le Creuset lidded casserole. Lamb tagine with apricots and cardamoms is my favourite

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    1. Those Le Creusets are great as well, of course. There's something about the way a tajine's cone works the steam, though . . . I've usually had lamb with prunes, chicken with apricots, but I like the sound of your favourite.

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  6. When my oldest lived for a time in West Africa we met in Morocco. There is nothing NOT to love about the country. I found the people to be lovely and welcoming. We travelled with my grandson (then a baby) and I was struck by the willingness of men to approach us to play with him and ask questions about the baby. At first, it really took me out of my comfort zone, but I soon warmed up to their genuine warmth and obvious love of children. I loved wandering the souks, took several cooking classes, went driving through the Atlas mountains and spent an afternoon with a family in a small village there. I think you would really enjoy it,!

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    1. I've heard this kind of love for the country from a number of travellers. And that appreciation of babies and children reminds me of Italians -- it is a bit discomfiting at first, so different from our N. Am. culture. . . .but lovely to see once I got past the surprise. Taking cooking classes there must have been marvellous -- do you still make those dishes at home?

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  7. No Moroccan travel or culinary influence here, but mention lentils and I'm in. Morocco doesn't feature on my travel list. Think it will take me all my time to get to Patagonia, which very definitely is. But I'll have a go at this recipe.
    I've just left you a follow up comment on your last post with a couple of video suggestions - let me know if British humour translates to the west coast of Canada...

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    1. There are so many places I'm recognising I just won't get to; luckily I'll be able to get vicarious glimpses through other travelers like yourself.
      I'll go check out those video suggestions -- thank you!

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  8. I second BuffaloGal's enthusiasm about Morocco, and noticed the same interest and warmth that men displayed toward babies. I spent three weeks there traveling with friends, and loved it. So many enjoyable interactions, so much geographic diversity. My cooking skills alas remain minimal.

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    1. Another vote for putting the country higher on our travel list. . . thank you!

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  9. Another thought: it was much easier--and more fun-- to speak French with people for whom it was also a second language.

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  10. I love Middle Eastern food. Couscous, apricots, Harissa. Yes please. We don't own a tangine, but someday I would love to buy one. I know it's not really necessary, but they are such a beautiful shape.
    Would love to know the name of the restaurant in Bordeaux as we will be in the area in October.
    Ali

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    1. Alas, that restaurant had closed when we went looking for it last time. You'll be able to buy a beautifully painted Moroccan style tajine in the streets near the Market at Place St. Michel. Of course, it will add weight and volume to your cases but would make a good memento of your time there. . . (we've been tempted, but doesn't work with our carry-ons. . . we did buy one for the house we spent weeks in, used it there a few times)

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  11. Ow,ow.....I've lost my comment (it seems it is double or none...)
    The recipe looks yummy,I'm going to try it-red lentils and corn....We don't like coriander (should try in powdwe?),so I'm going with parsley and mint
    I've never been to Morocco,Egypt or Tunis and am a little bit sorry,it was on my list
    We dont have Moroccan restaurant here yet,so all my memories are connected with London
    I'm sorry that we didn't try a Bosnian restaurant when you were in Zagreb,I'sure you've liked this eastern cuisine,too. Next time!
    Dottoressa

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    1. I ate so well when I was in Kosovo - very meat based but also good local salads, ewe's milk cheese, and pastry delicacies - I adored Fli/Flia. Plus the best coffee ever. Does it feature in Bosnian cuisine as well?

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    2. Let me know how it turns out, Dottoressa. Ah, Vienna! I haven't been yet -- son-in-law chose the job in Rome over the one in Vienna, but he loved the city when he went for his interview and I did some research while they were thinking about it. Sounds like such a great city for transit, walking, culture, food, etc. Someday. . . And yes, it's a deal, next time we get to Zagreb, Bosnian food for sure. ;-)

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  12. Frances, Vienna is on our must-do list of places to return. Haven't been there in a while, so it's definitely time to go back. Thanks to you and Dottoressa for the nudge.

    We were in Morocco for the first time last fall and, sadly and surprisingly, were underwhelmed. I think we chose our venues badly -- big cities (Casablanca and Agadir) rather than the countryside. We will surely return, but will do it very differently next time.

    On the satisfying travel front, I'm happy to report we just got back from Vancouver. We stayed in a favorite hotel on the waterfront, and I walked 5-6-7 miles every day in Stanley Park -- such a treat. Oh, and you guys put on an eclipse for us, too. ;) But mostly, we relaxed, slept like babies, ate very well, and shopped.

    BTW, the only thing I bought for myself in Vancouver was a cool graphic tee at El Kartel, a shop I really enjoyed.

    Ann

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay in Vancouver -- which is the hotel you like, so that I'll know to recommend it -- I'm going to guess the Westin Bayshore, but perhaps you know of The Sylvia, which is a budget favourite of many. . .
      El Kartel -- Ooooh! you're very cool! Discerning . . .
      Too bad about Morocco, but glad to hear you'll persevere.My first impression of Rome was negative, tbh, and I'm glad I gave it a chance to grow on me.

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    2. I'm a little shy to admit our fave Vancouver hotel is the Waterfront Fairmont. What we love about it besides ithe location and views is the Gold Floor, where we stay. My beloved husband adores it there. His mobility is limited after two rounds of chemo/radiation, and the young Gold Floor staff wait on him hand and foot and treat him like their favorite grandfather while I am out tooling around the park and the city. Seriously, they always spoil us both terribly.

      Their breakfasts are wonderful, and the evening spreads could easily have been our dinner every night. Then there are the daylong free coffee drinks and drinks and dark chocolate made with the hotel's rooftop honeybees, plus the lovely pool area, gym, enormous hot tub, and saunas. Presidents Club members get significant discounts. In short, it's not inexpensive, but the value is very high.

      BTW, thanks for your admiration of my El Kartel coolness. :) I Must also thank the Gold Floor staff for that, since they strongly recommended it.

      Ann

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    3. Thanks for answering my query despite your shyness, Ann. Much appreciated, and now I'll have one more bit of advice for visitors to the city, if they can afford the Waterfront Fairmont. One or two of my adult children have stayed there for a treat, especially if there are promotions -- a StayCation Getaway. I'd forgotten about those beehives on the roof -- thanks for reminding me. So glad you found a place to stay here that makes it so comfortable for your husband , so that you, in turn, feel comfortable getting out in the city.

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  13. I've loved my few experiments with Moroccan food. Perhaps I need to explore more and I'd love to go someday...

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    1. A colleague of mine went with her sisters and had a spectacular time. . .

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  14. Well that looks gorgeous! I have not been to Morocco but I would LOVE to go. I bet the food is fantastic (smokey and intense). I have eaten Moroccan at restaurants, but I'm sure it's even better eating it locally :-) Stupidly, although Scott seems to enjoy middle eastern food just fine, every time he eats it, it's not his fave so I don't get to indulge as often as I'd like.

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    1. You have a wealth of choices for Moroccan food in Toronto, I'm sure. Here, it's arriving, but slowly. . .

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  15. Never been but would love to. The thing I love and which I ate by the ton in Dubrovnik was blitva, a sublime mix of vegetables and olive oil. I wonder if Dottoressa has a recipe? I've tried it at home but not quite the same.

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    1. Hmmm, never heard of this, so will have to go research now. . .

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