Chic African Culture Blog

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. African tech startups raise billions of dollars annually, seven African start-ups were included in the World Economic Forum 2021 cohort of 100 Technology Pioneers: 54gene, mPharma, Cambridge Industries, FlexFinTx, Kuda, Moringa School and Sokowatch.

Chicken Tagine with Potatoes and Carrots North African Recipe

Ceramic tagines are exquisite examples of Moroccan artisan ship, and many are show pieces as well as functional cooking vessels. 

Moroccan tagines make delicious family meals, and the presentation in a clay or glazed tagine is impressive enough for company. Try this basic Chicken Tagine with Potatoes and Carrots recipe.

Moroccan Tagines or Stews

Tagines are primarily used to slow-cook savory stews and vegetable dishes. 

Because the domed or cone-shaped lid of the tagine traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook meats and vegetables to buttery-tenderness. 

This method of cooking is very practical in areas where water supplies are limited or where public water is not yet available.

The traditional method of cooking with a tagine is to place the tagine over coals. Large bricks of charcoal are purchased specifically for their ability to stay hot for hours. 

Smaller pieces of charcoal are reserved for cooking brochettes and other grilled meats.

Using a Tagine at Home

Before using a tagine for the first time, you'll want to season it. Use a tagine in a low heat oven or place it on a gas or electric stove top. 

Use the lowest heat necessary to keep the stew simmering gently. A diffuser – a circular piece of aluminum placed between the tagine and burner – is highly recommended to buffer and more evenly distribute the stove's heat. 

Moroccan tagines make delicious family meals, and the presentation in a clay or glazed tagine is impressive enough for company. Try this basic Chicken Tagine with Potatoes and Carrots recipe.


Turmeric Chicken Tagine with Potatoes and Carrots

Ingredients
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces and skin removed
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4" thick planks
4 large potatoes, cut into 1/2" slices or wedges
1 large onion, sliced into thick rings
1 small or medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
Small bunch of coriander, tied
Handful of red or green olives, rinsed
1/2 of a preserved lemon, cut into quarters and seeds removed

Directions
Pour enough of the olive oil into the tagine to coat the bottom. Layer the onion rings across the bottom of the tagine, and arrange the carrots on top of the onions. 

Add the chicken to the center of the tagine, and place the coriander on top. Arrange the potatoes around the chicken, and then distribute the chopped onions, garlic and spices over everything. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken and potatoes. Add the water to the tagine, and place over medium heat. 

Use a diffuser if you like, but as long as the heat is kept low, a traditional tagine should be safe on a burner. Cover the tagine, and bring the dish to a simmer. (Be patient, it takes a good 10 minutes for the tagine to heat up to this point.) 

Adjust the heat to medium-low or low, checking occasionally to be sure that you can still hear the tagine simmering. Tagine is done when potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes. You can use a stew pot instead of a tagine, just add an extra 1 cup of broth to the recipe. Serve over cooked rice or couscous. 


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Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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