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Tunisian Chicken with Potatoes, Raisins, and Lemon

November 5, 2013

We had a wonderful visit this past weekend from our good friend Dave (who also was my husband’s college roommate). He lives in another part of the state now about 3 hours away from us, so unfortunately we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. Over the past few years he’s become interested in learning to cook, but he doesn’t really get many opportunities to cook much at home, so we decided we would turn the visit into a cooking extravaganza weekend! On Friday night after he arrived, we picked out some recipes to make a multi-course meal on Saturday and a simpler supper on Sunday, keeping in mind the produce we’d be getting from our CSA this week (our CSA farm sends out an email every Thursday telling us what we will be getting at Saturday’s pickup; it’s super handy for menu-planning to know ahead of time!). Saturday morning we went to the Public Market, which he’d never been to before. Then we began our cooking marathon!

For our big Saturday dinner we made wine-braised chuck roast with onions, red cabbage with apricots and balsamic vinegar, and roasted acorn squash with maple-soy glaze (the side dishes I don’t have pictures of). So delicious! But obviously a lot of work, definitely not an everyday or even an every-weekend type of meal. Sunday morning we made oatmeal for breakfast (no apple topping though), we whipped up some fettuccine for lunch, and then ended the day with vegetable potpie. Still more than what I’d make on a typical weekend, but Sunday’s recipes were faster and easier, and we covered a good range of cooking techniques. Overall a very successful and delicious weekend!

This stovetop braised chicken recipe from Bon Appetit’s Fast Easy Fresh cookbook isn’t related to any of our weekend cooking, but I had made it a few months ago and decided now would be as good a time as any to share it. :) I don’t cook African food very often – something new to try is always exciting! Placing the chicken into the pot without browning it first saved a lot of time, but I knew that would sacrifice flavor in the end result, so I made sure to salt the chicken pieces under the skin and let them sit while I was prepping the rest of the ingredients. I also only had tiny potatoes, so I just cut them in half rather than cutting larger ones into chunks. We really enjoyed the end result: salting the chicken beforehand definitely made the chicken more flavorful than it would have been otherwise, and it’s mostly a complete meal-in-a-pot (adding some greens on the side wouldn’t hurt). The recipe takes about 45 minutes from start to finish, making it just do-able for a weeknight meal. Enjoy!

Tunisian chicken with potatoes and raisins

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3½  pounds chicken pieces (legs, thighs, etc)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 2  large white potatoes (about 1¼ pounds), cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½  teaspoons turmeric
  • 1  large lemon, peel and white pith cut away, very thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1/2  cup raisins
  • 3½  cups (about) low-salt chicken broth
  • 2  tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Pat chicken dry and season under skin with kosher salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in a single layer in heavy large pot. Drizzle oil over. Tuck potatoes between chicken pieces. Sprinkle with garlic and turmeric, then sprinkle more salt and pepper over. Lay lemon slices over. Sprinkle with raisins. Pour enough broth to barely cover chicken.
  2. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover and boil for 10 minutes. Uncover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer chicken and potatoes to platter. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Add lemon juice to pot. Boil cooking liquid until thickened to light sauce consistency and reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken and potatoes and serve.

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