During this weekend’s Adventures in Housesitting, I gave Kettle Corn what was I hope one of many cooking lessons. It was fun, and set to the crooning of Michael Buble, I chose Chicken Tagine as our first dish. It’s quick, easy, packs a flavorful punch and never ceases to be a fan favorite. Served with some orzo made the mom way, Kettle Corn couldn’t stop raving about it.
Making it Saturday night made me realize how much I just love that dish, and how often it becomes my go-to lazy meal for all those cold fall and winter nights. And I realized that there was no reason to stop the love in the summer, and, as such, I decided to salad-ify it. In doing so, I used all the same components that make it a perfect stew, and turned it into the Moroccan version of a Cobb salad. Plus, SO MANY GREENS from my CSA lately. And, is summer salad season? Tomato and Lettuce scoff at my designation of it as a summer food since they’re anti-categorizing-food-by-season, but I think most would agree. Anyway, only a few weeks left, so let’s summer-food it up.
I thought about throwing it all together, tossed salad-like, but the components were so colorful on their own, I figured Cobb presentation was the way to go. Don’t you agree? So pretty.
To give it a little more heft and protein, I went with quinoa for my starch. Couscous or the aforementioned orzo would also do splendidly.
Now, who said they hate salads??
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika, eyeball it
- ½ tsp ground coriander, eyeball it
- ½ tsp tumeric, eyeball it
- ¼ tsp cinnamon, a couple shakes
- 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
- 12 prunes, halved
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, ribboned
- 8 cups mixed greens
- pistachios, to garnish
- 2 TB red wine vinegar
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 2 TB, heaping, apricot jam or orange marmalade
- 1 shallot
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper
- 4 TB olive oil
- In a small saucepan, add the quinoa and water and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa has cooked. I personally use a rice cooker for this.
- Preheat the broiler or grill.
- In a large bowl, add the chicken, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and turmeric. Toss to thoroughly coat. Place the thighs, single layer, on a broiling pan lined with foil. Broil or grill the thighs, about 7 minutes the first side, 4 the second, until cooked through. Set aside to let the juices redistribute, about 10 minutes. Chop chicken into strips.
- Make the dressing by tossing all the ingredients into a blender. Puree until smooth.
- In a large bowl, mix together the greens, parsley and mint. Toss in the quinoa.
- Divide the lettuce between four plates or bowls. Arrange the chicken, garbanzos, prunes, feta in a pleasing arrangement atop the salad. Sprinkle with some pistachios for crunch and drizzle the desired amount of dressing on top. Serve immediately.
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