Tuesday, September 30, 2014

moroccan chicken tagine

WOW, are there a lot of variations of this dish! Now there's a new one, I had to tweak it a bit since I didn't have enough olives. ;)  LOVED this. The recipe I followed (a bit loosely, admittedly) came from Simply Recipes, and you can find it here.

I don't have a tagine, so I started out using one of my pride and joy pieces, my oval Le Creuset Dutch oven. All the chicken wouldn't fit, though, so I also used my Staub 4 quart Dutch oven (love that one).  I just split all the ingredients accordingly between the 2 pots.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (2 drumsticks, thighs, wings; back separated from breast and cut in 2 pieces; and 2 breasts, each cut in half to make 4 pieces)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (heaping)

Combine the spices in a bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then put in the bowl with the spices and toss to coat thoroughly. Let stand 1 hour.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven(s) on medium high heat. Lightly sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt. (I omitted the salt in this step and just salted to taste on the plate). Place the chicken pieces in the hot oil, skin side down, and cook for 5 minutes. Top the chicken with the onion and garlic, cover with a lid, reduce heat to medium low, and cook for 15 minutes.

the rind from 1 preserved lemon (wash in cold water, remove pulp and discard, and cut the rind into thin strips)
1 cup green olives, pitted (I used 1/2 cup green olives with pimiento, halved, and then chopped about 1/4 cup of pickled okra)
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup water

After the 15 minute cooking, turn chicken pieces over, top with preserved lemon, olives (and okra), raisins, and water. Bring to a simmer, cover again, reduce heat to low, and cook for 30 minutes.

Top with 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, and serve over rice. (I did not have the herbs but it was fantastic anyway).

This recipe takes a bit of time, but it is well worth it. The preserved lemon rind and the olives add such a salty tang to the dish, the raisins are a sweet surprise that does not take over, and the sauce over the rice is wonderful.

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