But tonight I attended a winsome potluck dinner party hosted by the parents of Sarah Shatz, the photographer for the wonderful new cookbook from the Food52.com folks. If you haven't already found that website, go to it right now. The premise of the first two years was that each week the authors invited readers to submit a recipe on a particular food--your favorite artichoke dish, or chicken thighs, or chocolate chip cookies, or...well, you get my drift, right?
So this new book, Food52 Cookbook, is a compilation of the weekly winners of the first year. Cleverly organized by season. Sarah's parents put together a menu and then offered about a dozen dishes that guests signed up to bring. As tonight's entry indicates, I chose braised Moroccan chicken and olives.
Like many people, the first time I make a recipe I follow it, well, more or less follow it, omitting ingredients that are not to my taste. But today I followed the recipe slavishly to maintain the spirit of the evening. And I'm very glad I did so because the result was delicious, not to mention very beautiful.
Tonight it was served on couscous prepared by Annette Grant, and they were flavorful. Perfect accompaniment.
So here's the recipe should you be so inclined to go Moroccan some night. And if you get the book, the recipe start on p. 125. Enjoy!
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 2.5 pounds chicken legs and thighs
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1 1/2 cup small diced onion
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2-3 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron
- 1/2 cup green olives, rinsed
- 2 preserved lemons, pulp removed; rind cut into strips
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or large, deep skillet or over medium high heat. Dry the chicken pieces and season them with salt and pepper. Place them in the skillet in batches and brown on all sides. Remove the chicken and place on a plate.
- Add the onion to the skillet and cook until slightly softened. Add the ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric and cayenne pepper and stir together. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat with the spice mixture. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet so that 2/3 of the chicken is submerged. Add the saffron and stir to combine. Bring liquid to a simmer, cover the skillet and simmer on medium low heat 20-25 minutes. Add the olives and preserved lemons. Cover and cook another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and turn the heat to high. Cook for another 6-8 minutes until sauce reduces slightly. Stir in the cilantro. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Serve chicken on a bed of couscous. Spoon sauce over the top. Garnish with cilantro.