Cold demands remedy: itchy sweater, bright fire, steaming stew.
Challenges, all. In extra-cold, I rely on my extra-itchy sweater. It was made in Ireland, long ago, by a sheep handy with the cableknit. I stuff myself in, do up the leather buttons and feel hogtied and sheepish. Then I take it off, and feel cold.
I try fire. I stuff the latest Amazon box with twigs, flick in a match and marvel at the orange conflagration, one soon collapsed to cold hiss.
I stew. I'm fond of Moroccan tagine, which is to say stew. Tagine can be cooked in a point-topped pot called a tagine. Or served in a point-topped dish called a tagine. Or simmered in a standard saucepan by a cook tied into a point-topped cap and still called tagine. In the savory/sweet tradition, mine pairs chicken with sweet potato. It's apricot sticky, ginger bright, cayenne spiced.
I serve it scorching hot, a welcome rejoinder to a day spent in the company of scratchy sheep and damp twigs, trying to stay warm.
Leah Eskin is a Tribune Newspapers special contributor. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 1 hour Serves: 4
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), cut in half
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons tomato paste