experiments in cooking

Virtual African Loop: Revisiting in the Kitchen

While I’m “in” Guinea on the trek, it’s a great opportunity to cook some of my favorites so far.

For one, Chicken Yassa. This isn’t actually newsworthy now because I find I’m making it pretty much every other week. I love this stuff!

But I also wanted to try a few other dishes, since the chicken with lemon and olives from Morocco was, well, less than I’d hoped. So I decided to try a tagine, which is very common in Moroccan cooking. Of course I don’t own the Tagine cook pot for which the dish is named but I decided to try this version that uses a slow cooker to accomplish the same goal. Panning the Globe has not let me down so far. Fingers crossed…

Observations from the cooking:

Pretty much any time a dish calls for chicken thighs, unless specifically instructed otherwise, I prefer doing them using boneless and skinless. (Even so I find there’s a ton of additional trimming needed.) This recipe requires bone-in but skinless. What a pain in the …

Ahem.

Also any time the dish calls for 8 or 12 or however many chicken thighs, I use 5. Five is how many comes in a standard package, and even if I buy a large pack of 10, I separate them to be multiple dishes. I always make all the rest of the recipe as if the full amount of chicken is in there, though. Extra flavorful, say I.

Except in this case I halved the chickpeas. I don’t particularly like chickpeas generally and with half the chicken in the dish, I figured half of those as well is just keeping things in sync. If it turns out I love them in THIS dish, well, lesson learned and I’ll go back to full portions in future.

Finally, I don’t have cinnamon sticks. I just sprinkled some cinnamon into the dish. It will have to do.

So then there was just the 6 hours of waiting…

### interlude ###

Moroccan Chicken Tagine over Couscous

Okay, on to the results:

Once it all cooked the chicken was fall off the bones tender so I actually pulled it off the bones and shredded it back into the rest of the dish. The apricots soften, almost melt, and sweeten the whole dish.

The chickpeas. Well the chickpeas taste fine, but they still have that texture… I’m a texture person when it comes to food and that’s never been a great one, to my taste.

If you’re not a food texture person, then mouth-feel is not an issue for you, congratulations … but also I know none of that made any sense. Sorry.

The overall flavor profile is good. It’s pleasant and flavorful and on the sweet side. In other words, it makes me long for spicy. But since the Yassa came out a little hotter than usual this time, it will be a nice mix in the menu for the week.

I’m glad I tried it. (I’m glad I had better luck with the couscous this time, too.) And I’m glad to learn my mom is a fan of chickpeas because my leftovers might be headed their way.

(Update from mom and dad is that they really liked it!)

Well I have more in the fridge, so l give it another try.

And who knows, maybe I’ll stumble on another recipe to give a go, while I’m crossing this part of the route.

Wish me luck!

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