Snowy day, chasing the clouds away…

I wish!  February is off to a blustery start, and I am skeptical that the groundhog will be able to find his way out his hole tomorrow, nevermind see his shadow.  We’ve had an epic month and a half of snow storms here in Boston.  At my old stomping grounds of Mount Holyoke College, classes are canceled for the first time in almost ten years.  What’s your favorite thing to do when the flakes start falling?

And how did you actually spend today?  Will tomorrow be any better?  I’ll let you know my answers later.

Stirring up some winter warmth

I spent this weekend at home cooking for my best diners: my family.  They pay for the food, help wash the dishes, and love almost everything that I make.  So, I thought I’d test out a new recipe on this captive audience.

This recipe for Chicken-Butternut Tagine landed in my inbox courtesy of Cooking Light in October, and Mom had the same recipe in a Cooking Light cookbook, which meant I didn’t even need to print it.  Score!

I didn’t change much, so rather than reposting the recipe, here are my tips for cooking up this dish.

Tips for making Chicken-Butternut Tagine

  • Get pre-sliced squash.  There were two packs of this at the store, and I grabbed them like they were going out of style.  I love slicing and dicing, but it’s nice to have some of the work done for you!
  • Don’t cut the squash too much – it will cook down a lot.
  • Skip the olives.  I’m not sure how butternut squash and green olives are supposed to go together, but I was really not in the mood to find out.  If you’ve tried it, let me know if it works!
  • Double up!  The more the merrier!
  • … but wait until things start to simmer until you add twice as much liquid.  I added less than twice as much broth as it was still much soupier than I intended.  We solved this by serving it primarily with a slotted spoon, but I would have preferred it with less liquid.
  • Serve with couscous!  This is my advice for everything – I love couscous!!

The most remarkable part of this dish was the chicken; because you mix just the spices and the chicken to start, the chicken was incredibly flavorful and tender.  The end result tasted so healthy that I didn’t even feel guilty going back for seconds (and mini-thirds!).

I feel like this would also be really good in the crockpot – coming home to these spices filling the air would be amazing.