The Recipe: A one-pot supper, chicken and roasted cauliflower with warm spices and a touch of sour from the exquisite Spiced Preserved Lemons.
The Conversation: Treasured Sunday-morning rituals.
Do you have a morning ritual that you treasure? Here, it's the Sunday-morning ritual that I most treasure. It starts early, always with coffee, usually outside under the big maple tree when it's warm, usually tucked in by the fire when it's cold.
A grand plan for breakfast emerges, I'm happy to turn over the reins for man-style bacon and eggs, nearly always with no-recipe vegetables of some sort cooked and presented beautifully and other than delicious, never the same twice. My job is to go for the Sunday papers, the dog shares this duty, it's a half mile up and back.
So no, it's not church. But even so, it's a holy time, one of reverence, spiritual uplift and human communion. I like to think God approves.
My favorite part of the Sunday papers? The Times Sunday Magazine! I check it straight off because often the Sunday recipe turns into Sunday supper.
And have you seen what the Times has done to its food section? Check out what Sam Sifton's new leadership has collected, here or maybe here. So cool! There's some NYC-only stuff but plenty for the rest of us, all beautifully curated. I love the daily e-mail with two or three weeknight-perfect recipe ideas, seasonal, simple. It's my kinda food, maybe yours too?
Anyway. Last November when Arctic Cold invaded much of the country, Chicken Tagine was our Sunday supper, sourced from that day's Sunday Magazine. But no way was I heading to the grocery store just because the recipe called for cauliflower!
So I substituted an on-hand butternut squash, it turned out beautifully! The next week, I substituted round steak for the chicken, fresh cranberries for the olives and cut a head of cauliflower into snowy florets – so so good! Then for this past Sunday dinner, I finally got down to "following" the recipe, chicken, spices, cauliflower and olives.
But sweet potato would work, so would potatoes, rutabagas, even a medley of fresh tomato, corn and okra during the summer season. Zucchini too? Yes! Just think of any vegetable that "tastes good" paired with lemon and can handle some spices.
This is season-crossing eating at its best.
But the one ingredient there's no skipping? The preserved lemon! What's that, you ask? Here's how I make Spiced Preserved Lemons.
SPICED CHICKEN &
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER TAGINE
Time to table: 2 hours
- 1 large head (1200g) cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sweet or smoked paprika
- 1-1/2 teaspoons coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs and/or chicken legs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced in large pieces
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 15 ounces canned diced tomato
- 1/2 cup good chicken stock
- Roasted Cauliflower
AND FINALLY, WHAT MAKES A TAGINE A TAGINE
- 1 preserved lemon, smashed with the back of a spoon (how to make Spiced Preserved Lemons)
- 1/2 cup olives
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER Set oven to 400F/200C. For easy clean up, if you like, line a baking sheet with foil.
In a large bowl (you'll use it again for the Spice Mix and Chicken), toss the cauliflower and olive oil. Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer, let roast until just beginning to soft, about 20 minutes.
SPICE MIX Mix the spices in the same large bowl. (If you like, bring out the cauliflower, toss with a tablespoon of the spice mix, return to the oven to finish.)
CHICKEN Tear off and discard the chicken skins. Toss the chicken pieces and the Spice Mix, thoroughly and evenly coating the chicken.
Heat oil in the skillet on medium-high until hot and shimmery, add chicken pieces – they should sizzle; the thighs go top-side down; don't crowd the pieces, you will likely need to cook the chicken in two or even three batches. Cook until brown on one side, turn and cook until brown on the other side. Transfer browned chicken to a plate.
NESTING VEGETABLES Add the onion to the hot skillet, scraping up spices and oil from the cooking vessel to coat the onion pieces. (If the skillet's a little dry, add a splash of water.) Cook just until beginning to soften, stirring often. Stir in ginger and tomato paste, let cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and chicken stock, let cook 1 minute.
If using a tagine, transfer Nesting Vegetables to the tagine and nest the chicken pieces on top. If using the same skillet, just nestle the chicken pieces on top. Nestle the Roasted Cauliflower between the pieces, stems down.
OVEN Reduce oven temperature to 350F/175C.
Cover the skillet or tagine, cook for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, with a spoon, stir the preserved lemon into the Nesting Vegetables as best you can, in the gaps between the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with the olives.
Return to the oven, still covered, for another 30 minutes.
SERVE Serve tableside with Cook’s Illustrated Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice.
Per Serving, made with cauliflower: 271 Calories; 13g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 94mg Cholesterol; 527mg Sodium; 12g Carb; 5g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 26g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 6 & WW Points Plus 7. This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized'.
Let's Talk ... About Sunday Morning Rituals
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Is there a rhythm to your Sunday mornings that you treasure? Do share ...
More Recipes from the New York Times
~ Raw Butternut Squash Salad ~
~ Perfect Rhubarb Pie: Annie Dimock’s Straight-Up Rhubarb Pie ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog
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