food for thought

by michelle

Posts Tagged ‘tagine

cooking in the fire

leave a comment »

It’s winter here and when the wood-burning stove is going we take the opportunity to use it for cooking. Sadly, the previous owners who installed the stove didn’t buy one with a stovetop but cooking in coals is an age-old method and seasoned cast iron camp ovens (Dutch ovens) have been used for hundreds of years. To cook in the fireplace we placed the camp oven away from the flames and surrounded it with red-hot coals. It’s important not to have any of the coals underneath as the food will burn onto the bottom. It’s also important to turn the pot every 10 minutes or so.

We chose to make a chicken tagine as the cooking method is very similar. Simply start with a little olive oil and layer your ingredients – we used onion, leek and garlic on the bottom, then fennel and bone-in chicken thighs flavoured with fresh ginger, ground cumin, saffron and preserved lemon and seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. On top, chopped fresh dill and coriander (cilantro) and another drizzle of olive oil. Depending on the heat of your fireplace this meal should cook in 30 – 40 minutes.

This method is also brilliant for roasted vegetables of any kind. They taste amazing and get a wonderful char. We included potatoes, pumpkin, red pepper and brussels sprouts. Simply toss the vegetables in some oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Written by michelle picker

November 13, 2018 at 12:14 am

Posted in poultry & game, vegetables

Tagged with ,

double-cooked chicken

leave a comment »

Having decided to cook a whole chicken, I found this wonderful Moroccan recipe in a Robert Carrier book. Place the whole chicken in a casserole dish and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Now add 2 small red onions (grated or finely chopped), 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, ½ a teaspoon of saffron, ½ a teaspoon of ground ginger and 300ml water. Cover and cook on medium heat for 1-1¼ hours, turning the chicken from time to time. When tender, remove the chicken and keep it warm while reducing the sauce until quite thick. When almost ready to serve, heat a wok with some butter and vegetable oil and fry the chicken on all sides until golden brown. Arrange on a heated serving dish with the sauce spooned over it.

To complement this I devised a Moroccan-style vegetable dish. In a tagine (or shallow casserole dish) drizzle a little olive oil then lay slices of onion over the base. Over these scatter artichoke halves (canned), tomato wedges, peas, olives, the diced rind of ¼ preserved lemon and a few sprigs of parsley and coriander. Season with pepper and ½ a teaspoon each of saffron and ground ginger. When covered and placed on medium heat, this will cook in 10-15 minutes and needs no further attention. Serve with cous cous.

Written by michelle picker

March 14, 2011 at 10:20 am