Thursday, October 16, 2014

Trail of Crumbs: Chicken Thighs with Cinnamon and Dates

I will probably always prefer white meat.  For years I refused to eat dark meat - thighs, legs, wings.  All I wanted was the breast.  It's not the worst thing in the world, chicken and turkey breast are healthier than their counterparts.

But I was missing out. 

Over the past couple of years I've come to embrace the dark side.  Chicken thighs especially.  They're so much better for slow cooking.  Both in the slow cooker, and for things like braising.  The bring a richer flavor to a dish that chicken breasts just don't.  And I love the way they fall apart, so tender!

I really liked this dish because of the combination of the chicken and sausage.  For me, that such a Cajun thing - Jambalaya, gumbo.  There's nothing Cajun about this dish.  With the dates and cinnamon it seems much more...North African?  I don't know, I just keep thinking of Morocco.  Sunee even suggest making this in a tangine.  It works just fine in a dutch oven, so if you're tangine-less, like I am, don't let it deter you. 

Chicken Thighs with Cinnamon and Dates (From Trail of Crumbs)
1 tsp olive oil
2 sausage links
6 to 8 skinless chicken thighs
1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
3/4 tsp pepper
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup golden raisins or currants
2-3 carrots, cut lengthwise and halved on the bias
1 orange, cut into 8 wedges
12-15 dates, pitted
2-3 Tbsp chopped cilantro

  1.  Preheat oven to 350. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large ovenproof pan or Dutch oven.  Cut sausage links into halves or thirds, depending on length, removing casings if desired.  Add sausage and chicken to pot in one layer.
  2. Sprinkle with half salt and pepper.  Let cook about 5 minutes.  Turn meat over, season with remaining salt and pepper and let cook 5 minutes more.  Remove chicken to a plate.
  3. Add onion to pot and let cook 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, and paprika.  Stir and let cook about 3 minutes.
  5. Add chicken broth and orange juice, raisins, and carrots, and stir.
  6. Place chicken and sausage back in pot.
  7. Add orange wedges and dates.
  8. Stir, cover, and bake for about 1 hour 30 minutes, or until chicken and carrots are fork tender.
  9. Top with cilantro and serve with hot buttered couscous and harissa paste.

1 comment:

  1. My family was always a white meat family and I remember trying to make them chicken legs or thighs once...and they refused to eat it!