For the Jewish High Holidays, kosher caterer David Dahan suggests a menu that mostly can be served at room temperature. Only the Moroccan Chicken Tagine requires reheating, but it can be made up to two days before the holiday. "And the best thing is -- it really gets better after two days in the refrigerator," he adds.
Traditionally, this dish is served over angel hair or vermicelli pasta that has been cooked in seasoned chicken stock. But it also can be served over saffron rice, couscous or with roasted baby potatoes. Kosher caterer David Dahan's family eats this as a Sabbath meal or to break the fast on Yom Kippur.
- 2 dried ancho chili peppers
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 (64 ounces) chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Flour, for lightly coating the chicken
- 1/4 cup white wine or cognac
- 2 jars (based on 6- to 7-ounce jars) artichoke bottoms, either in water or in seasoned oil, drained and thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, cored and cut into very thin strips (julienne)
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded, cored and cut into julienne
- 1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
- 8 medium cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/2 lemon, halved, seeded and cut into matchstick-size strips (peel and segments), or 1 preserved lemon, cut into julienne
- 1 cup pitted green greek or italian olives
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water or hot chicken broth (may substitute 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric dissolved in liquid)
- 1 cup water
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Have ready a large, ovenproof casserole dish or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
Place the chili peppers in a bowl, add enough warm water to cover and set aside to rehydrate for 20 minutes. Drain, seed and thinly slice the peppers.
In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat 4 to 5 tablespoons of oil.
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste. Dust them lightly with flour, shaking to remove any excess. Add some of the chicken to the skillet, being careful not to crowd the pieces, and fry, turning once, until both sides are golden but the chicken is not cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a large casserole dish or arrange in a single layer in the baking pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Drizzle the chicken pieces with 3 to 4 tablespoons of additional oil and the juices from the skillet.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the wine or cognac, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the artichokes, sliced chili peppers, bell peppers, parsley, garlic, lemon, olives, saffron mixture, salt and pepper to taste and water. Bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the chicken pieces. Cover the casserole tightly -- first with foil, then with a tight-fitting lid or several more layers of foil. Bake for 11/2 hours. Baste the chicken with the pan juices after about 45 minutes. If the pan seems dry, add a little more water.
Remove the chicken from the oven, uncover and set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving. To reheat, cover with foil and heat in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
From caterer David Dahan.
Tested by Candy Sagon.
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