We think of chicken and mustard as a bit prosaic in French cooking, so for this competition Pierino (not his real name) wanted to blow off the doors but not wander too far off the reservation in the smoking aftermath. The knickname for our All Clad tagine is "Big Zombie" anyway. It's massive and it's zombiesque. —pierino
chicken pieces; thighs, legs, wings etc.
5 ounce jar honey dijon mustard
carrot in small dice
sweet onion, chopped
dried apricots, chopped
black, dry cured olives (the wrinkly ones, and leave the pits in sissy)
garlic cloves, whacked
dry white wine
chicken stock (approximate)
roasted marcona almonds chopped in a food processor (see notes below)
blood oranges, quartered
ras al hanout (see notes below)---or substitute 1 tsp each cumin and tumeric
aleppo pepper or hot pimenton
European bay leaves
clarified butter (or substitute extra virgin olive oil, say a light Spanish type)
portions quick variety couscous. We like M'hamsa brand.
Brush the chicken pieces with the honey dijon mustard (or use a spoon).
In the bottom of your tagine or other heavy cooking vessel heat up the butter over a medium flame. Brown the chicken pieces without crowding them and remove to a platter while you deglaze the bottom of your tagine with the white wine.
Add the carrots, onions and garlic and color, adjusting heat as needed.
Return the chicken pieces to the tagine and season with the spices and salt and pepper, turning them a few times. Add the stock, but not enough to cover the chicken and bring it to a simmer.
Add in the apricots, olives and oranges followed by the chopped almonds. Cover and cook at a simmer for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Be sure to taste the sauce occasionally and adjust seasoning if needed.
Meanwhile prepare couscous according to package directions. When the chicken is cooked thoroughly, plate up the couscous and top with chicken and sauce. We think it's nice to have harissa handy as a table condiment.
Notes: for the almonds; you can roast them in a sheet pan ahead with some salt so they are ready for your mise. But if you have a Trader Joe's nearby you can buy them packaged already.
Ras al hanout is an Algerian/Moroccan combination of spices. Look for it in "gourmet" (sob, sob) stores or international markets.
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.