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What about this Tagine T'Faia recipe is Tagine?

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  • Rella Dec 31, 2011 07:59 AM
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Lookig for a recipe for a whole chicken (organic Costco) and have been considering a tagine recipe for it, I EYB for tagine recipes and came up with "Tagine T'Faia" in Claudia Roden's "The New Book of Middle Eastern Food." This recipe is cut into 4-6 pieces.

I have read 'most?" of the chowhound remarks about tagine cooking and researched tagine cooking, and this one has set me back to Phase I of my search :-))

"Put the chicen pieces in a large pan ... cover with water and bring to a boil." with spices of course and for close to an hour. Then puts onto a serving plate.

Then one preps a few ingredients and pours over the top of the chicken.

I guess my biggest question is 'cover with water.' I will be preparing this is a large Emile Henry tagine. That's a lot of water for up to an hour of simmering.

Non-plussed over the use of tagine in the title for this recipe. Reminds me that it might have been called boiled or simmered chicken - similar to chicken boiled in Austria without the spices. Just baffled.

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  1. One recipe instructs:
    "Bring to the boil and simmer gently, half coverred, for one hour or until the chicken is well cooked and the sauce is reduced."
    http://ayea.net/portal/modules.php?na...

    http://somervillekitchen.blogspot.com...
    cooks this dish in her tagine.

    Sounds like the goal is to have enough liquid at the start to cook the chicken, but enough evaporation to end up with a sauce.

    2 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      I think you're right about the goal, which is no doubt the goal of all tagine recipes.

      Just nitpicking :-))

      Noticing that the blog's picture is not the tagine T'faia recipe in the book as there is no tumeric noted, no saffron noted, but in the picture there are no eggs or almonds that I can see; and her addition is potatoes.

      I've watched a number of tagine recipes on youtube which are quite interesting; namely one guy at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnJAgU...
      which is ever so amusing.

      Thanks, Paulj.

      1. re: Rella

        That 'covered with water' recipe is in Roden's original Middle Eastern book, which is from 1968, long before Emile Henry tagines were available. As with a paella, simmering in a wide open (or half covered) pan will result in a lot more evaporation than in a covered tagine (or dutch oven).

        At the end you can remove the tender chicken, and reduce the liquid to your liking.

    2. no way would I cover with water. I have the same Emile Henry and an unglazed tagine. I no longer even add water. The meat and veggies give off plenty of liquid. There are a lot of recipes published that were never even tested in a tagine IMO.

      5 Replies
      1. re: rasputina

        The recipe at "Tagine T'Faia" in Claudia Roden's "The New Book of Middle Eastern Food." (and as Paulj says is in her 1968 book) calls for no vegetables at all; just chicken and water (with a few spices added).
        Still baffling to me. Hoping for a follow-up response from you. Thanks.

        1. re: Rella

          I have that cookbook, but I've never made any of her tagine recipes.

          ok I went and looked up the recipe. I don't know. I sometimes go ahead and follow the directions the first time and then adjust later. But, after having followed a few tagine recipes that called for water and finding that inevitable that once the ingredients give off their liquid there is way too much now and it's sometimes overflowed the tagine and I've ended up with diluted spices and a too thin sauce that I now have to waste time reducing so I no longer add water.

          IME chicken ( I do not use boneless skinless in tagine) gives off plenty of liquid. Since I'm starting the dish at very low heat there is no risk of burning the bottom before the juices are released. Although I like Paula Wolferts recipes where you put shredded onion in the bottom and then put the meat pieces on top.

          I personally wouldn't even follow Roden's cooking instructions if I was making that. I'd never boil it. I'd cook it very low at barely a simmer and I would not add water. But that is me, I'm at the point where I feel confident in the technique so I tend to just look at recipes for ingredient inspirations alone now.

          1. re: rasputina

            I will follow your advice. All of it. Thanks a million.

            1. re: Rella

              Woe is me, Rasputina, I did not fully follow your advice. Here is my write up and my lesson learned.

              At the bottom of the page: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/731350

              1. re: Rella

                I can understand being concerned about leaving the water out. That is why I learned the hard way a few times before I quit doing it.

      2. "Non-plussed over the use of tagine in the title for this recipe. Reminds me that it might have been called boiled or simmered chicken - similar to chicken boiled in Austria without the spices. Just baffled."

        Tagine just means stew really, or anything cooked in the conical cooking vessel called a tagine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greedygirl

          I am finally understanding the word, tagine.

          Her recipe was throwing me off when there was no mention of the word 'tagine: anywhere in the recipe but wrote, "Put chicken in a large pan...." "Cover with water, bring to a boil..."

          When I look more closely at all of her "tagine" recipes, I see that they all call for using a 'pan.'

          When now reading further at her page on "Of Moroccan Chicken Tagines and Qdras," I see that she goes further to explain the difference between home cooking, home cooking for parties, and restaurant cooking, using pans. I come away after reading that page, that hardly anyone uses the vessel, 'tagine" to cook in -- go figure. Even going back to re-read it again, I'm not even sure whether she is even addressing the home cook and the vessel, tagine, in that page.

          At any rate, I think I've got 'my way" of cooking in 'my tagine.' This has been one of those 'learning to make bread" experiences - well almost, Thanks.