|Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes|
I know it is Halloween, but I got a little concerned about Dorie's description of this dish's "haunting" fragrances... I was concerned that the exoticness of this dish would scare off my family, and of course, I have a stereotype in my head about prunes = old ladies + need for fiber...
I tried to stay open minded. Reading through the ingredients I was thrilled to get to use some more star anise, since I don't have a clue what to do this expensive spice without Dorie's direction.
I noticed that I did not have any saffron and after hunting around in a few gourmet shops I realized why: $18 for a few threads...WOW. I have quite a treasure chest of expensive herbs now thanks to Dorie.
OK, so the results... well, I loved the vegetables the onions, sweet potatoes and even the PRUNES were scrumptious. The chicken was very tender, but I really want to know why I had to bother browning all those thighs when the skin doesn't stay crisp and mostly falls off in the dutch oven???
So, Dorista's please enlighten me... is there culinary importance to browning the meat, since we don't use the browned bits to make a sauce or... what? I need to know or I am just going to buy skinless chicken next time.
Well, that star anise turned out to be an issue for my daughter and I... I found the smell of it distracting. I could barely taste any of the other seasoning... especially the saffron because it was just too aromatic for this dish. I will skip it next time, and put more cayenne because I found the dish to be too sweet. The seasoning is interesting but it needs to be balanced... this not one of my favorite recipes.
I liked this blogger's version of this dish because she skipped the star anise. Though she also omitted the cayenne, which I think is really important for keeping the flavors balanced.
Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review.