Food with a lot of spices can be kind of scary to try to pair with wine. It is usually a good rule of thumb to go with a nice off-dry white wine. The residual sugar from the wine compliment the spice and has a nice contrast to all of the spicy flavors in the dish. This Moroccan dish paired with our 2013 CVW Viognier is a great example of this.
Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Almonds & Chickpeas
- 3 lbs. chicken legs and thighs
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-in. piece ginger root, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 c. chicken stock
- 1 c. dried couscous
- 1/2 c. dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1/4 c. almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsps. cilantro, optional, for serving
1. Warm one tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven (at least 5 1/2-quarts) or tagine over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and brown the skin (don’t crowd the pan, do a few pieces at a time) for 5 to 8 minutes, flipping once, until both sides are golden brown. If necessary, add more oil in between pieces. If the oil starts smoking, turn down the heat.
2. Pour off all but a teaspoon of oil and return the pan to medium heat. Sauté the onions and carrots with a half teaspoon of salt until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the ginger and spices over top and cook until fragrant, another minute. Stir the chicken stock and apricots into the pan, scraping up any seared bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Put the chicken pieces back into the pan; try to fit them in a single layer, but it’s ok if some pieces overlap.
4. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook for 50-60 minutes. The tagine will be ready when the chicken registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat.
5. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the couscous according to recipe on package and set aside.
6. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean plate and tent with foil. Add the honey, almonds, and chickpeas to the pan with the apricots and onions, and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the stew to a rapid simmer and cook until it has thickened slightly. Taste the sauce and add salt if necessary.
7. Spread the cooked couscous on a serving platter and arrange the chicken pieces on top. Ladle the stew over top, making sure the chicken pieces each get a good coating. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.