Sunday, April 5, 2015

Chicken Butter Bean Okra Tagine

This Moroccan inspired chicken dish incorporates lemon saffron cinnamon flavors into a broth rich sauce with okra, butter beans and yukon potatoes. The slow braise process of cooking the chicken in the oven allows the flavors to intensify in the meat and beans.  Serve this dish onto large bowls sprinkled with fresh mint and parsley to garnish.  This hearty one pot meal goes great with crusted bread or pita bread.

A large tagine works great for cooking this dish, but a good dutch oven works just as well if a tagine is unavailable.

Tip: To add more earthy meaty flavor into the sauce try stirring in a chicken bouillon into the broth before placing the dish into the oven.

Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours 20 minutes (Active Cooking Time 30 minutes)
Special Tools:  Large Tagine or Dutch Oven


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole boneless skinless chicken breast cut into large chunks
2 yellow onions sliced
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3.5 cups chicken broth
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
Pinch of saffron
1 cinnamon stick
salt and freshly ground pepper
15 oz can of butter beans
3 yukon potatoes cut into large cubes
8-10 okra pods roughly cut
1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley chopped

Place the oven rack at the lowest level to allow enough room for your tagine or dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large deep skillet place the olive oil over high heat on the stove top.  Add the chicken to brown the meat on all sides (3-5 minutes).  Transfer the meat to a large tagine or large dutch oven (cast iron pot) and set aside.

Add the onions to the skillet and sauté until soft (3 minutes).  Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.  Transfer the onions and garlic to the tagine or dutch oven to join the chicken.   Place the chicken onion mixture over high heat.  Stir in the flour and pour in the broth.  Add the lemon zest and juice along with the saffron and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the butter beans and yukon potatoes to the dish.  Stir, cover and transfer the tagine or dutch oven into the oven to cook for 1 hour 45 minutes.

Remove the tagine or dutch oven from the oven and stir-in the okra pods.  Return the dish to the oven to cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven.  Ladle the chicken and okra into bowls and sprinkle with chopped mint and parsley to garnish.  Serve.   Try this dish with a side of crusted bread, pita bread, couscous or steam rice.  Enjoy.

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