Chicken Tagine with Pomegranates

Chicken Tagine with Pomegranates

The Moroccan word tagine, when translated simply as "stew," hardly does justice to this beautifully fragrant, succulent one-dish meal. (Tagine is also the name of the distinctive pot in which the meal is traditionally cooked and served.) Pomegranate juice lends a tart depth of flavor to the sauce; use bottled juice and skip the garnish when the fruit is not in season. Serve with whole-wheat couscous to soak up the delicious sauce.

From EatingWell: Fall 2003, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)
Yield: 4 servings, about 1 cup each
Active Time: 45
Total Time: 75

Ingredients

  1. 1 1/4 cups fresh pearl onions, or frozen small whole onions
  2. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  4. 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  6. 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
  7. 3/4 cup pitted prunes
  8. 1/2 cup dried apricots
  9. 15 sprigs cilantro, tied with kitchen string
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish
  12. 1 cup pomegranate seeds, (1 large fruit, see Tip) for garnish

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. If using fresh pearl onions, cook in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain. Peel when cool enough to handle. If using frozen onions, rinse under warm water to thaw.
  3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ginger and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant and beginning to foam, about 1 minute. Add chicken and onions; stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Add pomegranate juice, prunes, apricots, cilantro and salt; bring to a simmer. Cover tightly with foil and then with a lid. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove lid and foil. Discard cilantro. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 10 minutes longer.
  5. Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until light golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
  6. To serve, spoon the tagine into a serving bowl or onto plates. Garnish with sesame seeds and pomegranate seeds.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat on the stovetop, in the oven (350°F, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes) or in the microwave. | Equipment: Kitchen string
  • Ingredient note: Look for pomegranate juice with other bottled juices or in the produce section of well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores.
  • Tip: To avoid the enduring stains of pomegranate juice, work under water! Fill a large bowl with water. Hold the pomegranate in the water and slice off the crown. Lightly score the fruit into quarters, from crown to stem end. Keeping the fruit under water, break it apart, gently separating the plump arils from the outer skin and white pith. The seeds will drop to the bottom of the bowl and the pith will float to the surface. Discard the pith. Pour the seeds into a colander. Rinse and pat dry. The seeds can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable bag for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Nutrition Per Serving: 432 calories; 9 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono); 118 mg cholesterol; 64 g carbohydrates; 30 g protein; 5 g fiber; 432 mg sodium; 1170 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium (48% daily value), Iron (15% dv).

3 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 1/2 fruit, 1 vegetable, 4 lean protein, 1/2 fat