Chosen Bites: Totally tantalizing tagine

Impress your Succot guests with this riotously colored dish that can be served in a hollowed-out pumpkin for an extra wow factor.

Vegetable Tagine 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Vegetable Tagine 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
This satisfying and riotously colored dish will please all of your Succot and Shabbat guests. I like to hollow out a pumpkin and roast it for 15 minutes, so that it's not raw, and then present the finished tagine in the beautiful, toasty-orange gourd for a big "wow" presentation. I serve the tagine with my Pomegranate Glazed Chicken or braised pot roast.
Vegetable TagineServes 10
Extra virgin Olive oil1 large red onion, diced6 garlic gloves, minced1 cup diced fennel2 cups diced butternut squash, cut into 1-inch dice1 cup diced sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice 1 cup diced russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice1 cup sliced carrots½ cup thinly sliced parsnips½ cup sliced dried apricots½ cup sliced dried figs½ cup sliced pitted dates1 tablespoon ground cinnamon3 teaspoons ground coriander1 teaspoon ground cumin½ teaspoon ground cardamom Pinch of crushed chili flakes1/3 cup tomato paste1 cup barley10 cups waterSalt and pepper
Suggested garnishes: Toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate arils (seeds), cilantro and parsley leaves.
1. Preheat oven to 177 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit.
2. Sauté the vegetables in batches until they are golden brown and crispy. Be sure to season each batch with salt and pepper.
3. Place all of the remaining ingredients and the vegetables in a large Dutch oven. Cover the tagine and cook for 1 ½ hours until the vegetables are cooked through and the barley is tender.
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Pomegranate lacquered chicken Serves at least 8
Every chef and home cook has their favorite ingredient that they reach for over and over again. For me, it is pomegranate molasses. Pomegranate molasses, or paste, is the reduced juice of many pomegranates. It is thick and syrupy with a tart sweetness.
I find that it makes a great marinade, vinaigrette, BBQ sauce, sorbet flavor and really just about anything! Find a brand that you like. Flavors can vary with each brand. Pomegranate molasses or paste can be found in Middle-eastern grocery stores or on-line. Most pomegranate molasses brands are kosher.
For the chicken:
2 whole chickens-cut up, on the bone
½ cup pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup rich chicken stock
2 cloves garlic-minced finely
1 shallot-minced finely
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for sautéing
½ cup pomegranate arils for garnish
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 177 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit.
2. Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add a small amount of olive oil to coat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken pieces, being careful not to overload the pan. Place the chicken in oven proof pans separating the white and dark meat.
3. Place a small saucepan over medium high heat and lightly coat with olive oil. Sauté the garlic and shallot until browned. Add the pomegranate molasses, sugar, tomato paste and chicken stock. Lower the heat to medium and stir ingredients together until combined and thickened (about 10 minutes).
4. Brush chicken pieces with pomegranate glaze. Roast chicken until cooked through, about 45 minutes for dark meat and 30-35 minutes for white meat. Re-glaze the chicken during cooking and when it is removed from the oven.