Authentic spices and flavors to savor. Try this easy-to-cook meal!
When I was in seventh grade, curiosity “virtually” led me to Morocco: our class project was to pick a random country and write a report — and so I picked Morocco. Instantly, I fell into a long-distance love affair with a country rich in culture and food.
Many, many, years later, I sat on a plane with another road warrior, making small talk on the way home to LA. He pointed at the stretched-open “Places We Fly” map, and breaking my empty gaze, he declared, “Morocco should your next destination. It is simply fabulous. Use your miles. You have to go. It’ll be a great trip.”
“Yeah, ok… why not?”
That sounded like fun. No one in my circle of friends had ever actually been to Morocco before. At the time, my sister was doing a law school “exchange year” in Lyon, France (coincidentally one of the culinary capitals). It seemed like a feasible option to start my trip in Paris, visit my sister in Lyon, drop down into Spain for a short bit, tour around Morocco, and then head back to work.
…and that’s how I ended up traveling to Morocco. Yep — all by myself.
I realized that traveling solo to somewhere “more exotic” really isn’t too that difficult, and the trip might have been one of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had.
How often do you get to spend time with your sister running around a culinary capital; or travel solo and explore the Souks (markets) in Marrakesh; eat from fire-roasted tagines; visit Kasbahs, the Atlas mountains, the Sahara; and witness goats climb trees? To top it off, a camel surprised me with a big wet kiss. Ick! The photo below was taken directly after the unplanned “smooch”. Say cheese. Those are all cherished days (and a long time ago now…)
It’s how the scent of a roasted Moroccan “tagine” spice blend of cinnamon, cumin, saffron, chilies, and ginger can instantly transport me to that treasured moment in time. To me, “special recipes” and foods are here to help us celebrate and mark the good times in our lives….
The pluots that we picked last week were finally ripe, and since I didn’t know what to do with them, I adapted this Moroccan Chicken/couscous recipe, prepped it in a pan, and then oven roasted it in a tagine.
It is a relatively easy recipe, but takes a little time. With most things, a little love goes a long way…
This recipe can also be cooked in a Dutch oven (or similar), if you don’t own a tagine.