Document 86008

Chicken is easily cooked and just as easily flavored. Its Moroccan street cred goes up with
ras el hanout—literally “best of the shop”—a custom blend of the best spices in the shop by
the bargaining merchant. Just like the blends I tasted in the casbahs and souks of Marrakesh.
For the chicken
A splash of vegetable oil
6 chicken thighs complete with
skin and bones
1 carrot, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of
ras el hanout
½ cup (125 mL) of pistachios
½ cup (125 mL) of kalamata olives
½ cup (125 mL) of halved dried figs
½ cup (125 mL) of orange marmalade
1 cup (250 mL) of orange juice
The zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon (2 mL) of salt
For the carrot mint couscous
1½ cups (375 mL) of water
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of any vinegar
1 carrot, shredded
Leaves from 1 bunch of
fresh mint, sliced
1 cup (250 mL) of couscous
½ teaspoon (2 mL) of salt
Match your favorite heavy skillet with a tight-fitting lid and
medium-high heat. Splash and swirl in enough vegetable oil to
thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken thighs and sear
the first side until golden brown and crusty,  to  minutes. Flip
and sear the second side until it’s equally golden brown. The goal
here is not to fully cook the meat but just to add lots of brown flavor
while the pan temperature is high. Reduce the heat to medium and
transfer the chicken to a plate.
Add the carrot, onions, and garlic to the pan. Sauté for a minute or
two, heating through. Sprinkle in the ras el hanout and sauté for a
minute or so more, softening textures and brightening spice flavors.
Stir in the pistachios, olives, figs, marmalade, orange juice, lemon
zest and juice, and salt. Bring the works to a slow, steady simmer.
Return the chicken and any juices to the pan, cover tightly, lower
the heat further, and continue to gently simmer until the thighs
reach an internal temperature of ˚f (˚c), about  minutes.
While the chicken is simmering, prepare the couscous. In a small
pot, bring the water, olive oil, and vinegar to a steady simmer,
stirring along the way. Turn off the heat. Stir in the carrot, mint,
couscous, and salt, then immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid.
Let rest for at least  minutes—long enough for the chicken to
catch up! Dinner is ready to eat now, but if you have time for maximum tenderness, adjust your heat to the lowest setting and carry on
simmering the chicken for another  minutes or so.
In the universal spirit of spice blending you can easily craft
your own custom blend of ras el hanout inspired by Moroccan spice shops. Remember all the “c” spices: cardamom,
cloves, cinnamon, coriander, chili powder, cumin, caraway,
and even curry. I like to add a bit of fennel seed and dried
ginger too. You’ll be amazed how fragrant, delicious, and
simple it can be to blend your own in a jar.
Michael Smith has been passionate about cooking simple,
great-tasting food since his mom first introduced him to
cooking at an early age. Since then, Michael has become
one of Canada’s most successful cookbook writers and
a hugely popular celebrity chef on Food Network Canada.
But, never far from his own home kitchen, it’s the time-tested
basic recipes that he regularly cooks for his family. In Back
to Basics, Michael shares 100 sure-fire classic recipes, tips,
and cooking techniques. And, in every recipe he shows how
easy it is to add a twist or two to your cooking.
Chock full of mouth-watering photography to inspire, Back
to Basics is Michael’s simple approach to cooking basics
that he wants to share with every home cook. Once you
understand the basics behind a recipe, you can then stir
your personality into your cooking. You’ll see how easy it is
to impress family and friends in your own kitchen. And, once
you know the basic rules, you can break them. You’ll never
get stuck making a dish just one way!
Inside, you’ll find Michael’s favorite classic recipes like Crispy
Crusty Chicken Strips with Global Dips, Beef Pot Pie with
Cheddar Biscuit Crust, Bacon Roast Pork Tenderloin, Tomato
Basil Crusted Whitefish, Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Sage
Butternut Squash Sauce, and Bacon & Blue Cheese Risotto.
And, no meal is complete without dessert, so try making
classic sweet treats like Pumpkin Pie Tarts, Apple Cinnamon
Fritters, and Peanut Butter Brownies.
Michael’s passionate commitment to cooking simple classic
recipes will inspire and guide you as you impress yourself in
your own kitchen. Enjoy!
Chef Michael Smith is the bestselling
author of six cookbooks including Fast
Flavours, Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen,
and The Best of Chef at Home. He is
the popular host of several Food Network
TV shows including Chef Michael’s
Kitchen, Chef at Home, and Chef Abroad.
Michael is a passionate advocate of
simple sustainable flavors and the growing
Canadian cuisine movement. He lives on
Prince Edward Island with his partner,
Chastity, and their children, Gabe, Ariella,
and Camille.
On sale September 3, 2013 | 8½ x 11 | 272 pages | $32.00 | Full-color photography throughout
978-0-14-318410-2 | Original Trade Paperback | Cover and food photography: Ryan Szulc
TOC photography: James Ingram
For publicity enquiries, please contact Trish Bunnett at [email protected] or at 416-928-2408
All material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced without explicit written permission from Penguin Group (Canada).