I received a lovely gift from my sister-in-law when she came to visit a couple of weeks ago. Firstly let me say this is not my first tagine recipe that I have blogged about. However because of my sister-in-law this is the first one in an actual Tagine.
What a unique cooking vessel. Not unlike a cast iron pan that you must first season before using, the Tagine needs a little attention ahead of time as well. Both pieces need to be completely submerged in water for 6 hours up to 24 hours. Then you need to dry them off and let them sit for an hour, take 3 tablespoons of olive oil and rub into the base and inside of the lid. Then you place both pieces; separately in a cold oven and turn on to 350’F and let them bake for 2 hours.
I know quite the process, up side is you only have to do this process once as long as you use your tagine again within 6 months. The consensus from the fam is we want to explore more Moroccan food. The aroma and flavors are warm and inviting so flavorful.
I do have to admit my first go around with the this recipe could have gone a lot smoother had I read the recipe myself. We had all had a very stressful day/week and had the chicken marinating over night so we were making this dish with not a lot of time. My daughter read me the directions and I followed. It took way longer than it should have, it was still delicious but I was not thrilled; it just added even more stress to my day. So I will tell you here to brown your chicken and the onions in a frying pan before adding to the Tagine to finish the job. It will go much more smoothly for you.
Chicken Tagine with Olive and Preserved Lemons
- Frying pan
- 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads pulverized or steeped in water as we did
- ½ teaspoon ground Ginger
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 chicken thighs or you can cut up a whole chicken and use all the pieces
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium onions sliced thin
- 1 cinnamon stick we didn't do this, this time around
- 8 green olives pitted and halved
- 8 kalamata Olives pitted and halved, we didn't have on hand
- 1 large preserved lemon quartered, pulp removed and thinly sliced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley chopped for garnish
- Mix garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric together plus a 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Add pepper to taste. Rub chicken with mixture, cover, refrigerate and marinate 3 hours to overnight
- Heat oil in heavy skillet. Add chicken, and brown on all sides. Remove to platter. Add onions to skillet, and cook over medium-low heat about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to tagine, if you are using one, or leave in skillet. If using add the cinnamon stick
- Put chicken on onions. Scatter with olives. Quarter the lemons, remove pulp and cut skin in strips. Scatter over chicken. Mix stock with the lemon juice. Pour over chicken.
- Cover tagine or skillet. Place over low heat, and cook about 30 minutes, until chicken is done. Scatter parsley on top, and serve