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"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.

In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."

~ Julia Child

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Maiden Voyage: Tagine, Chicken with Forty Garlic Cloves

One evening I went to a friend's home for dinner and had the best chicken ever! She brought it out in an odd cooking vessel that I had never seen before. Me, being an armature foodie who loves gadgets said, "I gotta get myself one of those". Oh btw one of those is a Tagine a Moroccan clay cooking pot. I did a bunch of research on tagines and I decided to make a trip to Sur La Table to purchase one. The clay pot that Sur La Table has is glazed throughout and later I learned that the inside dome should not be glazed because the unglazed dome will absorb both flavors and moisture and this is a good thing! A tagine must be seasoned. That one took a trip to the library to learn how! I brushed olive oil on the tagine and put it in a cold oven, set it to 300 and let the tagine bake for 2 hours. This will prevent it from cracking.

So now on to making something in this wacky clay pot!

1 whole chicken
3 pounds chicken pieces
1/2 lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bouquets garni (4 sprigs thyme, 2 bay leaves, 4 sprigs rosemary, 6 sage leaves)
1/2 cup olive oil
30 to 40 garlic cloves UN-PEELED (The unpeeled part because I did not read this and I spent 2o min peeling)
1 cup chicken broth as needed

Rub the lemon all over the chicken inside and out. Tuck one Bouquet Garni along with the lemon inside. Now heat the evoo in a skillet and saute the garli
c for a bit. Turn the whole chicken in the oil until lightly colored
Put the bird into the tagine and add the bouquet garni and cover with the lid. Pop it into a 350 degree oven for an hour check it after 30 to see if you need to add some broth.

Okay so I am not very good at reading directions... I did not
brown my chicken! (bad Becky, bad Becky) however it was an amazing chicken and The garlic cloves are wonderful spread on a whole wheat pita or bread of your choice.

a note about the sir la table tagine

So there is a major design flaw in this tagine.
When it's hot it is almost impossible to take the lid off! My brother-in-law made a modification that made all the difference! He added a wire to the top so I could have something to grab so I could get the lid off. I am not sure what Sir La Table was thinking with this one.


  1. You get one big food BFF hug for doing all this. Great post !!

  2. This is my first visit to your blog. I had planned only to say hello but was lured by your prior posts and stayed longer than I planned. I really like your blog and loved this recipe for the chicken tagine. I'll be back often. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  3. Thanks Mary, Nice to meet you!