Fighting Cancer With Yellow

Chicken Tagine with OlivesSlumber parties are things of children. My best friend P and I had one every year for our birthdays, mine in June and hers in October. Until bad news struck. It seemed like every time we had these sleepovers, some kind of tragedy would happen at the other’s home. The morning after celebrating her birthday, I learned that my parents had been hit by a drunk driver and had been taken to the hospital. Months later, we celebrated my birthday and when we took home, her sister wasn’t around.

P’s sister was a few years younger at a six months of age, they found water on her brain. She was declared mentally retarded and had a tube placed in to drain the excess water. She did not go over to friends homes to play, so it was strange that she was not there. Her mom didn’t want to say anything when we dropped P off, but my mom told me the details while we drove home.

The day before, P’s mom and sister had gone to a doctors appointment and some tests had come back irregular. After further checks, they found she had cancer. She had a growth the size of a basketball that had already collapsed a lung and had damaged several internal organs. That morning she was already in the hospital, ready to undergo surgery. They removed the cancer and for many months I remember visiting Stanford Hospital so she could receive chemo & radiation. Her beautiful, silky curls were soon gone and she lost her spunk and energy. The cancer was treated but this young girl suffered many other physical problems later in life.

The last time I talked to P, her baby sister had turned 18 and was then living in supported living facility of sorts as her physical size and mentally capacity did not match, which was taking a toll on their mother. That was many years ago and I truthfully do not know if P’s sister is still alive. But I know she lived on for many years as a cancer survivor after the basketball sized growth was removed.

LIVESTRONG Day is the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s one-day initiative to raise awareness and funds for the cancer fight. LIVESTRONG Day 2008 will occur on Tuesday, May 13. In the foodblogging community, the day is celebrated by making and sharing A Taste of Yellow. To honor my friend P, her mother and her baby sister, I am participating by making a tagine colored yellow with Peruvian palillo (Peruvian turmeric). Enjoy!

Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives

Yield: Serves 6

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light


  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 12 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cups of chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup of pitted green olives, halved
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick


  1. Combine juice and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Dredge in flour. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet with high sides over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken; cook for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.
  3. Add onion, ginger, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add salt, black pepper, turmeric, and red pepper. Return chicken to pan. Add broth, olives, rind, and cinnamon stick; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Discard the cinnamon stick. Serve with rice and a green salad.

Chicken Tagine with Olives is being served up for LiveSTRONG With a Taste of Yellow 2008, hosted by Barbara from Winos and Foodies.

Gretchen Noelle

My love of food was cultivated early on by my family but has come alive while living in Peru. During the 12 years of living in Lima, Peru, I have also enjoyed numerous trips to other areas of the country. Here on Provecho Peru you will find Peruvian recipes in English, American favorites prepared overseas, news about Peruvian Cuisine and interesting tidbits about life in Peru.

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16 Responses

  1. Suzana says:

    Makes you think of what’s life made of… Beautiful post Gretchen – can’t think of a better message of faith and hope!Sorry I haven’t been around that much, I’ve been working too many hours lately. 😉

  2. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    I’ve been making a version of this dish a lot lately, and I find that blanching the olives in boiling water for a minute helps to remove some of the bitterness, leaving behind the wonderful flavor of the olives but not of the brine.

  3. Kalyn says:

    What a delicious sounding dish!

  4. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    Very thoughtful post, Gretchen. Your tagine looks lovely and delicious!

  5. Deborah says:

    The dish sounds wonderful!Thanks for sharing that story with us. It’s always hard to see people we know go through such hard things.

  6. Christina says:

    That’s so kind of you, Gretchen. She would be very happy to know that you are participating in an event with her sister in mind.

  7. Michelle says:

    Love love love tagines. You just can’t go wrong with them.Gretchen, thanks for judging the SnackShots event. Hope to see you in the next round for muffins! 😉

  8. Jamie says:

    Thanks for sharing that touching story Gretchen. The Tagine looks lovely and yellow!

  9. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    Kind thoughts for your friend and family.Hooray for the savory yellow tagine!

  10. Aran says:

    sad story but behind all sad stories there is always courage and hope. thank you for sharing that!

  11. Vicarious Foodie says:

    What a great event. Delicious-looking dish, and very touching story. Stories like this always remind me of how much I have to be grateful for.

  12. dobetter says:

    That chicken looks so flavorful. Amazing store. I have much to be grateful for.

  13. nicisme says:

    Great entry Gretchen. Makes me thankful, gives me food for thought.

  14. Barbara says:

    A moving story Gretchen. Thanks for supporting LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow with your delicious chicken tagine.

  15. Bellini Valli says:

    Thanks for such a heartfelt story Gretchen. I think we are all touched by this disease in one way or another. Thaks also for the recipe. I think the chicken tagine is something I could even add my preserved lemons to for extra lemony flavour:D

  16. Tartelette says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. The dish looks wonderful and full of flavor!

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