Sunday, January 5, 2014

05 January 2014

Welcome to the first Sunday Supper of 2014! Jeff bought me a Staub tagine for Christmas, so I put it to good use tonight. Plus, we are expecting the possibility of some winter weather and very cold temperatures over the next couple of days, so some hot and spicy comfort food was in order. For dinner, I prepared a spicy chicken tagine with apricots, rosemary and ginger. Tagines are typically ceramic vessels used in Moroccan cooking. The signature domed ceramic lid holds all of the steam and flavor in the dishes. I also cooked some buttery cous cous with toasted almonds to accompany the main dish. The unique mixture of rosemary, ginger, chili peppers and dried apricots creates very exotic flavors. As an added bonus, this one dish meal is very easy to clean up afterward.

This Sunday Supper was a great way to end an exciting and interesting week. On Thursday, I was sworn in as Canton City Councilman for Ward Two, and we had our first council meeting of the new year. All in all, it went better than expected, and once the transition stabilizes, I think the new council is going to be very productive and much more civil. There is a lot of exciting work to be done in Canton, and I look forward to it. Over the weekend, I prepared a separate office at Grant Design Collaborative for my council work, so I hope this will help me to be more focused, productive and efficient as I juggle this position with my full time job.

It is also a special Sunday evening for another reason. Tonight, the fourth season of Downton Abbey on PBS! We love this show dearly and have missed it during the break between seasons. Maggie Smith is amazing as Lady Grantham, and the production quality is outstanding. If you have not watched the previous seasons of this show, catch up now and tune into season four. If you think you don't have time for such entertaining drama, just head the advice of Violet Grantham, "Don’t be defeatist, dear, it’s very middle class.”

The Menu:

- Spicy Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Rosemary and Ginger

- Buttered Cous Cous with Toasted Almonds

The Recipe – Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Rosemary and Ginger


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, 1 finely chopped, the other 2 cut in half
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
3kg whole chicken, cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup dried sour apricots
2 tablespoons honey
1 (14 ounce) can plum tomatoes or whole tomatoes, with their juice
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
4 tablespoons fresh basil, shredded


Heat olive oil in a tagine or heavy-based dutch oven. Stir in ginger, onion, chopped rosemary, and chilies and sauté until the onion begins to soften. Stir in halved rosemary sprigs and the cinnamon 
sticks. Add chicken and brown on both sides.

Toss in the apricots and honey. Stir in plum tomatoes with their juice. Add a little water if necessary to ensure there is enough to cover the base of the tagine and submerge the apricots. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 35 - 40 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle shredded basil over chicken. Serve immediately with cous cous and a simple green salad.

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