A very tasty dish from North Africa. It’s a braise, cooked with low moist heat. The name comes from the pot it’s traditionally cooked in, but a Dutch Oven or other heavy pot with lid works fine.

You can up the spice level to your liking, or reduce (or omit) the Cayenne pepper to make it milder.

Makes 4 servings.

  • 8          Chicken thighs
  •             Salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 2 T       Olive oil
  • 2 T       Butter
  • 1          Large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4          Minced garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp   Grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp   Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp    Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp    Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp    Ground coriander
  • ½ tsp   Ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp   Cayenne
  • 2 C       Chopped tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 4 C       Chickpeas (drained and rinsed if using canned)
  • ½ C      Raisins
  • ½ C      Chopped dates
  • ½ C      Pine nuts (don’t toast them)
  • 1          Vanilla bean (slit down the middle, strip, & add the seeds or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  •             Chiffonade mint, cilantro, or parsley for garnish
  1. Season the Chicken with Salt & Pepper
  2. Heat oil over medium high heat. Brown the chicken, 4 to 5 minutes per side until nicely browned. Remove
  3. Add butter, onions, and a pinch of salt. Sweat the onions over reduced (medium low) heat until soft (5 to 10 minute)
  4. Add garlic and spices. Cook, stirring for 30 seconds.
  5. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, raisins, and vanilla and bring to boil. Add more water if dry, and salt to taste.
  6. Nestle the chicken back into the sauce.
  7. Cover and adjust the heat in 5 minutes so the mixture simmers steadily. Cook until chicken is very tender, 45 min – 1 hour.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  9. Serve over Couscous and garnish.

Variations: Omit the chicken to make the dish vegan. Sweat the onion in vegetable broth to make the dish added fat free.

This is the recipe that Bill prepared on his 2007 Audition for Next Food Network Star