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NEW FLAVORS to savor

THINK OUTSIDE THE RECIPE BOX THIS YEAR

BY JENNIFER BAJSEL


MOROCCAN CHICKEN TAGINE

SERVINGS: 4 | PREP: 10 MIN. | COOK: 1 HR. | TOTAL: 1 HR. 10 MIN.


INGREDIENTS: 1 Tbsp. olive oil | 4-6 chicken thighs, bone-in | 1⁄2 red onion, chopped | 2 cloves garlic, minced | 4 carrots, peeled, sliced | 1-2 preserved lemons, deseeded, sliced | 1 tsp. ground ginger | 1 tsp. ground turmeric | 1 tsp. smoked paprika | 1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon | 1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper | 4 cups chicken stock | 1 cup pitted green olives | 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro | 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh parsley | 1 Tbsp. honey | Salt and pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS: HEAT the olive oil in a large tagine or Dutch oven over medium heat. BROWN the chicken, skin side down, until golden, set aside. ADD the onion and cook until softened about 5 minutes. ADD the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne pepper and cook for 1 minute more. STIR in the olives, preserved lemons, carrots, cilantro, parsley, and honey. ADD chicken stock. BRING to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. PLACE the chicken into the tagine and arrange it in a single layer. COVER the tagine and simmer for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through. SERVE the chicken tagine with couscous or rice. GARNISH the chicken tagine with chopped fresh cilantro and parsley.


TIPS & TRICKS:

If you don’t have a tagine, you can use a Dutch oven or a cast iron pan. Use aluminum foil to cover but also vent so that liquid reduces as chicken cooks.



JOLLOF RICE

SERVINGS: 12 | PREP: 10 MIN. | COOK: 45 MIN. TOTAL: 55 MIN.


INGREDIENTS: 2 cups long-grain white rice | 1⁄4 cup coconut oil | 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped | 4 red bell pepper, chopped | 2 habanero peppers, stem removed | 2 cloves garlic, minced | 1 red onion, 1⁄2 chopped, 1⁄2 sliced | 1 Tbsp. Caribbean curry powder | 1 tsp. thyme | 2 bay leaves | 1/8 tsp. nutmeg | 1 (14-oz.) can tomato paste | 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth | Salt and white pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS: RINSE the rice in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. COMBINE tomatoes, peppers, and garlic in a food processor until liquified. POUR mixture into a pot. REDUCE sauce by about half. HEAT the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. ADD the onion and cook until softened about 5 minutes. ADD the curry powder, thyme, bay leaves, and nutmeg. COOK for 1 minute more, until fragrant. ADD the tomato paste, pepper sauce, and broth. BRING to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. STIR in the rice and bring to a boil. REDUCE heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed. TASTE and season with salt & pepper to taste.


TIPS & TRICKS: You can add other vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, or green beans. If you like your jollof rice spicy, you can use scotch bonnet peppers.



AREPAS (OPEN FACE) WITH AVOCADO & TOMATO

SERVINGS: 8 | PREP: 15 MIN. | COOK: 15 MIN. TOTAL: 30 MIN.


INGREDIENTS: 2 cups pre-cooked cornmeal (masarepa) | 1 tsp. salt | 2 cups hot water | 4 Tbsp. butter | 1⁄2 ripe avocado, mashed | 1⁄2 tomato, diced | 1⁄2 lime, juice squeezed | 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro | Salt and pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS: WHISK together the cornmeal and salt. SLOWLY add the hot water, whisking constantly until a smooth dough forms. MIXTURE should be moist but not stick to hands. COVER the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. DIVIDE the dough into 8 equal pieces. ROLL each piece of dough into a ball and then press down into a circle about 4 inches in diameter. HEAT a large skillet over medium heat. ADD 2 tbsp butter, then add the arepas to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. WORK in 2 batches, adding the rest of butter. MASH the avocado in a separate bowl. Add lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper. STIR to combine. TO SERVE, split open the arepas and top them with the avocado mixture and diced tomatoes.


TIPS & TRICKS: You should be able to find masarepa in a local Latin grocery or online. If necessary to substitute, use instant polenta (not cornmeal). Arepa can be filled with many different toppings and can be stuffed by only cutting 3⁄4 way through each arepa after cooking.


ABOUT OUR CHEF

Jennifer is a private chef in Dallas, TX, with a passion for home-cooked meals with a global influence. In addition to cooking, she hosts an Italian cooking show on national streaming television. To follow her, go to JenniferBajsel.com or find her on Instagram @JENNIFER_BAJSEL

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