24 June 2008

Translation of tajine recipe


I got back from Paris yesterday at about 7:00 p.m. I had taken a long slow drive up there on Sunday, through Vendôme, Châteaudun, and Dourdan, as well as innumerable villages, to drop CHM off at his apartment. We had lunch at the Café Louis-Philippe yesterday and then I drove back to Saint-Aignan.

A window in the Sainte-Madeleine church in Châteaudun

Here's a translation of the tajine recipe I posted yesterday with some notes I added. French recipes are pretty cryptic sometimes, I know.
Tajine of Chicken with Carrots and Raisins

4 chicken leg/thigh sections (or one whole chicken, cup up)
4 large carrots (or more to taste)
1 onion
Ras el hanout* to taste
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup or so of water
a handful of raisins
salt & pepper

Brown the chicken pieces in olive oil at medium heat until they take on a golden color.

Peel the carrots and cut them into large pieces.

Cut the onion into slices and add it to the pan to cook down for 5 or 6 minutes with the chicken.

Then add the carrot pieces to the pan along with the spices, salt, and pepper. Add about a cup of water.

Cover the pan and let the chicken and vegetables cook at the simmer for an hour or more (I let mine cook for about two hours on very low heat). Test the carrots for doneness and when they are getting close to being ready, add the raisins and let them cook for about 15 minutes so that they swell up.

For a golden finish, put the whole dish under a hot broiler for two or three minutes before taking it to the table.

Serve with boiled rice or steamed couscous grain.
* Ras el hanout is a blend of "warm" spices that can vary from 6 to 21 ingredients. I have two packages of Ras el hanout that I bought on different days. One contains coriander, turmeric, cumin, pepper, caraway, mild red pepper, fennel, and fenugreek, all ground finely. The other is just cumin, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, coriander, and cardamom. You can make your own blend or just put in pinches of many of these spices along with pinches of allspice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, curry powder, and so on.

Here's a blend of ground spices for Ras el hanout that I found in the Joy of Cooking:
  • 2 Tbs. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. each black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cinnamon, and turmeric
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • ¼ tsp. each cloves and cayenne pepper
That's ground cloves of course.


  1. Thanks! Can't wait to try this. It looks so thoroughly tempting.

  2. Thanks, Ken.

    I did a double take on the last line of your post. It sure looked like: "That's ground doves, of course." :-)


  3. BettyAnn... have you thought of going to the eye doctor lately. Ground doves... eeewww!

  4. Looks very yummy!

    I'd like to cook it for next sunday lunch, but my guests don't like spicy food :-((!

    Is it very hot?

  5. Hi Martine, the dish isn't hot, especially if you leave out the cayenne pepper/piment fort. Just go easy on the spices. It will be good.


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