Before last night, I don't think I'd ever consciously eaten a raw kumquat. And now I know why.
The tiny fruit is aggressively sour, like a lemon, with a slightly bitter aftertaste from the rind. Much like lemons though, they can be used to give some needed acidity to a dish, and they are put to spectacular use in this Moroccan dish from Bon Appétit.
The chicken is browned in some oil then simmered with a whole mess of onions, the kumquats of course, honey, and prunes. The chicken comes out aggressively spiced with that wonderful combination of sweet and savory spices like cinnamon and saffron. All this dish needs is some rice and a sprinkling of cilantro.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 1-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 ounces kumquats, quartered, seeded
- 4 ounces pitted prunes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper
Pour the olive oil int a large pot set over medium-high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Place as many pieces that can fit in the pot in a single layer, and then cook until browned on both sides, about 10 to 12 minutes. Repeat with any remaining pieces of chicken. Then remove the chicken and set aside.
Pour off all but a tablespoon of the fat, reduce heat to medium, and add the onions. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until they begin to brown. Add the butternut squash and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, cumin, and saffron. Cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
Pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, dislodging any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the chicken to the pot and add the kumquats, pitted prunes, and the honey. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 30 minutes, turning the chicken every 10 minutes or so.
Remove the cover and turn heat to high. Cook until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken pieces. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with some white rice and a sprinkle of cilantro.