Braised Artichoke Tagine

Gilles Arzur, Executive Chef of Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel)
Photo by: Four Seasons

Braised Artichoke Tagine with Moroccan Couscous
SERVES 4

Ingredients for Braised Artichokes:
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp (105 ml) white wine
3 quarts (3 L) vegetable broth or chicken stock
2 lbs (900 g) artichokes (thorny tips removed)

Method:
1. In a large pot, melt butter. Add carrots and celery and cook until tender. Add white wine and reduce liquid by half.

2. Once reduced, add the broth and half of the artichokes. Cook until tender.

3. Remove all vegetables from the liquid and allow them to cool. Reserve the cooking liquid.

4. Carefully remove the leaves from three of the cooked artichokes (they should peel easily) and reserve.

5. Place the remaining artichoke pieces in a blender and puree until smooth, gradually adding one cup (250 ml) of the cooking liquid.

Ingredients for Mediterranean Couscous:
1 cup plus 2 tbsp (310 ml) vegetable or chicken stock
2/3 cup (160 ml) dry couscous
3 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
3 tbsp (45 ml) mixed dried fruits (such as papaya, cherries, apricots)
10 oz (300 g) artichokes
Olive oil, for frying

Method:
1. In a medium pot, bring stock to a boil. Once boiling, slowly whisk in couscous.

2. Remove the pot from the heat and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside and allow couscous to absorb the liquid.

3. Add cinnamon sticks, star anise, artichokes and dried fruits. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Method for assembling:
1. Deep fry the remaining artichoke leaves (reserved as part of the braised artichoke process) in olive oil until crispy.

2. Mix couscous with artichoke purée and place in bowls. Top with deep-fried artichoke leaves.

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