Your customers may be seeking to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables, but mostly they’re looking for flavor. Go robust with these recipes for chicken tagine with roasted red grapes; ale and apple duck banderillas with praline bacon and apple hoisin sauce; tomato millet pilaf with roasted cauliflower and almonds and raspberry mole with chicken.
Chicken Tagine with Roasted Red Grapes
From: Chef Scott Samuel, CIA Greystone. Yield: 8 servings.
½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
1 tsp. ginger, ground
½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. kosher salt
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 lb. chicken thighs, boneless, trimmed and cubed
1 red onion, sliced ¼” thick
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 Italian parsley sprigs
4 cilantro sprigs
1 cup chicken stock
½ dried apricots, halved
1 lb. red seedless California grapes
2 Tbsp. honey
1 cinnamon stick
to taste, kosher salt
to taste, black pepper
as needed, saffron couscous (recipe follows)
½ cup almonds, sliced and toasted
Saffron Couscous (yields 8 half-cup portions):
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cups instant couscous
2 cups water
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. saffron
to taste, lemon juice
For tagine: Combine cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, pepper and 1 tsp. salt in a small bowl with 3 Tbsp. olive oil and add diced chicken thigh. Mix to coat evenly.
In large skillet or tagine, heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and brown the chicken pieces until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a bowl along with any juices. Add sliced red onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, uncovered, until soft and lightly colored. Add garlic and cook another 3 minutes. Tie Italian parsley and cilantro together with twine. Add reserved chicken and juice, Italian parsley bundle and ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer; cook uncovered for another 30 minutes.
For apricots: Place apricots in small saucepan with water, honey and cinnamon stick; bring to a simmer. Cook gently until all the liquid has been absorbed and there is a glaze, about 15 minutes.
For grapes: Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss 1 lb. of the red grape bunches with enough extra virgin olive oil to coat, then roast on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Remove, discard the stems and cool.
For couscous: In a sauté pan, toast couscous with olive oil over medium heat until golden brown. While toasting the couscous, bring water to a boil; add salt and saffron. Pour boiling water mixture over couscous and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let sit 10 to 15 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice and serve.
To finish tagine: After 30 minutes of simmering the chicken, add apricot mixture and half of the roasted red grapes. Stir to combine. Cook for another 5 minutes, remove from the heat and discard the herb bundle and the cinnamon stick. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve warm over couscous and garnish with remaining roasted red grapes and the toasted almond slices.
PHOTO: Kristen Loken/California Table Grape Commission
Tomato Millet Pilaf with Roasted Cauliflower & Almonds
From: Chef/instructor Eric Stein, Kendall College, Riverworks Campus, Chicago. Yield: 8 servings.
2 tsp. olive oil
½ cup minced yellow onion
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup millet
2 cups low-sodium tomato juice
1 cup vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cauliflower florets
to taste, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. almond slivers
2 Tbsp. golden raisins
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. capers
1 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. minced fresh tarragon
1 tsp. shaved chives
In a medium saucepan over high heat, heat 2 tsp. olive oil. Stir in onion and garlic; cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with 1 tsp. kosher salt. Stir in millet and coat with oil. Add tomato juice and stock to the pan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Hold until ready to serve.
Preheat oven to 400°F. In large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add cauliflower and sauté until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer pan to oven and roast until tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Add the raisins, vinegar and water. Simmer until raisins are plump and soft, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the almonds, capers, raisins, parsley, tarragon and chives. Season with salt and pepper and toss to mix. Toss the roasted cauliflower with the almond-herb mixture. Serve atop the Tomato Millet Pilaf.
PHOTO: Kendall College/Eric Futran
Ale and Apple Duck Banderillas with Praline Bacon and Apple Hoisin Sauce
From: Chef/owner Andrea Spring, Sign of the Mermaid, Anna Maria, FL. This recipe earned Grand Prize honors in the 2012 Maple Leaf Farms Chef Recipe Contest.
Yield: 4 servings.
8 slices layout-style bacon
¼ cup dark ale
¼ cup apple butter
2 Tbsp. teriyaki
2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
½ tsp. seasoned salt (adobo, cachere, etc.)
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. granulated garlic
2 Maple Leaf Farms Raw Duck Breasts (10 to 12 oz.)
Apple Hoisin Sauce:
½ cup orange marmalade
1/3 cup hoisin
½ cup apple butter
3 Tbsp. teriyaki
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. seasoned rice vinegar
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
8 6” bamboo skewers
8 tsp. light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. pecans, finely chopped
To par cook bacon: Preheat oven to 400°F. Lay bacon out flat on half sheet pan. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For ale and apple marinade: Mix all ingredients. Set aside. Remove skin from duck breasts. Cut each breast into 8 equal cubes. Add breasts to marinade and marinate for 1½ hours.
For apple hoisin sauce: Mix all seven ingredients well and set aside.
To finish: Preheat oven to 324°F. Cut bacon strips in half. Remove duck pieces from marinade and wrap one piece with half piece of bacon. Skewer the piece and repeat with another piece. Each skewer should have two pieces. Repeat process with the rest of the pieces. Lay on half sheet pan. Rub 1 tsp. brown sugar onto one side of each skewer and sprinkle the nuts evenly over the sugar on each skewer. Bake at 325°F for 20 minutes. Bacon will crisp a bit as it cools. Serve the eight skewers, two per person, on a large plate with the sauce for dipping.
PHOTO: Maple Leaf Farms
Raspberry Mole with Chicken
Yield: 4 servings.
1 tsp. pink peppercorns
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. anise seed
½ vanilla bean, finely chopped
2 whole cloves
1 Tbsp. cocoa butter
1 dried ancho chile, sddeded
1 dried morita chile, seeded
1 dried Guajillo chile, seeded
½ cup walnut pieces
2 packages (6 oz. each) Driscoll’s Raspberries
1 oz. semisweet chocolate (about 3 Tbsp. chocolate chips)
½ cup chicken broth
1/3 cup red wine
to taste, salt
4 grilled skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed and fried
3 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
Toast peppercorns, cumin, anise, vanilla and cloves in a dry skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Remove from pan.
Heat cocoa butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chilies on all sides. Add walnuts, 1 package raspberries, chocolate and toasted spices. Stir until chocolate is melted and incorporated, being careful not to burn ingredients. Add broth and wine; bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes or until slightly reduced.
Place mixture in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a mesh sieve. Season with salt. Serve with grilled chicken breasts and cubed fried sweet potatoes. Garnish with sesame seeds and remaining raspberries.