Thursday, April 26, 2012

Braised Chicken with Dates and Moroccan Spices

For some reason, when I started looking for a recipe to cook for dinner tonight, I had harissa on the brain. Probably because of the harissa spiked mussels my wife had at Bistro la Bonne last night. (They have a new mussel menu. You should go.) Searching for recipes involving harissa, I was tripped up by my desire to avoid red meat for once, especially after having spicy beef stew for lunch. There weren't that many chicken recipes that involve harissa, and most weren't braised. But I did find a recipe for braised chicken with "moroccan spices" and decided to go with that.

The recipe I ended up cooking involved a lot of substitutions. The grocery store was out of dates, so I threw in some raisins instead. I also wanted it to be a bit spicy, so I roasted some red chili peppers to saute with the shallots. I used veal stock to make it a bit richer. And I added some Urfa pepper flakes to give it a bit more smokiness and tie in the red chili peppers.

It turned out fairly well. It was definitely good, and the sauce had a nice savory/sweetness to it. But I was hoping for a bit more spicy/smokiness along with it, from the roasted peppers and the urfa. I have to say, thought, that while I normally don't like the vegetable medley that goes along with this sort of dish -- I often feel like once it's given it's flavor to the meat, it's done and should be discarded -- in this case, I ate it up. The shallots were just melt on the tongue delicious, and that counts for something.

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