Laura’s Authentic Moroccan Chicken Tangine (Tanjine; )طجين

I love meeting new people and trying new foods, so I was especially delighted last Wednesday our kids (Dan and Brianna) invited us over to meet Kirsten and Stevie, a newly married couple at their church. They grew up in North Africa and were bringing over something I’d never heard of: Moroccan Chicken Tangine.  Actually, I’d never even heard the term “tangine” before, but I’ve learned via Wikipedia that it’s a round, clay pot with a conical lid designed to return all the condensation back into whatever delectable dish is being slow-cooked inside.  Now, you don’t really need to own a tanjine to make delicious stews. Any large skillet or pot with a lid, a crock pot, or an instant pot will work!  Kirsten’s meal was so savory that I asked for the recipe, which she told me her mother had learned many years ago from a Moroccan neighbor (whose name we don’t know, so I’m naming it for Kirsten’s mom). Here it is, and thanks, Kirsten and Laura!

Laura’s Savory Moroccan Chicken Tangine
(Serves 6-8)

First: Sauté 8 large pieces of chicken (breast and/or thigh quarters) in 1/3 cup olive oil with 4 large, chopped onions. Cook until the onions have caramelized and the chicken is starting to brown. Cover the chicken with water until it’s completely covered and even a little more. Then add:
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste (or 1/2 chopped tomato)
1 teaspoon tumeric (to make it yellow; Kirsten didn’t use any because she didn’t have any; she says it doesn’t effect the taste but gives it a brighter color)   Simmer for two hours, covered, on low heat, checking/stirring just often enough to make sure nothing sticks on the bottom. Serve piping hot in bowls and use pita bread (or any good home made, flat bread…Kirsten made hers from a Betty Crocker recipe) to soak up the broth. Kirsten said that when she was growing up in Morocco, people ate it without utensils, even using bread to pull the chicken off the bones. I guess if you’re good at it, you don’t even get your fingers dirty, although I used a spoon and fork. 🙂

Stevie is still in school, so they’re not rolling in dough (rich) at this point, but Kirsten said there are many variations. Some of the common options include:

*Several large carrots cut into two-inch lengths and quartered
*1/2 cup of sliced green olives
* minced clove of garlic

For a sweet version:
Place in a separate pot:
1/2 cup of broth
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
package of dried apricots   Simmer all these ingredients until the apricots are tender, and then add this mix back into the tangine with the meat and onions and continue cooking (to complete the two hours). Another popular variation is using lamb with dried prunes.   After studying this morning, I discovered that American recipes often call for boneless and/or skinless chicken, but that’s not authentic! Also, I saw photos of tangine prepared with broccoli and served with toasted almonds and cilantro, which looked attractive, although I don’t know if that’s authentic either! Apparently it is common (and authentic) to serve it with couscous in some countries. At any rate, Kirsten’s was memorable and delicious…and even little Samuel loved it (after he tried it; he wasn’t too sure at first)! If you try it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures, hear below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen.”
(A common Christian blessing and doxology, written by Thomas Ken, 1674)



Announcing Sophie Claire Elizabeth Armstrong

IMG_0216The long awaited newest addition to our family has arrived! IMG_0223Jonathan, delighted father, is already back to work this morning! IMG_0229Linda is recovering beautifully…and is in the shower cleaning up just now.IMG_0224Alan and I are here on grandparent “duty” (which is, of course, sheer delight)! IMG_0227Amélie has kept us totally charmed with her English/German chattering, IMG_0217and Sophie keeps us all charmed just by existing! IMG_0240Isn’t it amazing that a tiny newborn can fill our hearts with such love and joy?

“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!”

Good News from Hawaii

01Daniel and Brianna just returned last night from visiting Mike and Grace for a 10couple of weeks in Hawaii. As always (when it comes to any of our family visiting 08any of the rest of us), they had a simply grand time! I’m sure before too long,  JudahBrianna will have lots of pictures out on facebook, but in the meantime, Michael 02 is gracious enough to let me share a few pictures of their adventures. Of course, 03the main attraction (besides family) in Hawaii is learning how to surf, and it 04takes a lot of arm strength, leg strength, coordination and balance to pull it all off, but Michael says that Daniel was a natural! (Must be all that time he spends playing Pump It Up, ’cause I sure couldn’t have done that!  🙂 ) Brianna was a 05little more timid, but Grace told me that she was actually a quick learner, very Brianna Makes it up!!strong, and made it up before they had to leave for home! Way to go, Brianna! 🙂 07Grace called me yesterday with two other pieces of wonderful news. Nothing is in Michael stone yet, but it sounds like they will be moving to Korea after Michael graduates 09this summer. Even more exciting, Eowyn just asked the Lord to forgive her of Heaven. Walking towardher sins yesterday, making her His very own child by faith in Jesus Christ. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!!!Sunset last night

It’s exciting to visit new places and have new experiences, but isn’t it most wonderful of all to know that in the end, God is preparing a home in heaven for us?! The Bible says “God is not willing that any should perish.” Instead, God desires that all of us repent and be reconciled to Him, being “born again” through faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. Have you received His free gift of salvation? If not, I pray that before the sun sets today you will give your heart to God…just like little Eowyn…and become His child.

“Behold, now is the accepted time; today is the day of salvation.”