Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chicken With Salted Lemon and Olives

The word Tagine , also spelled Tajine, refers both to the cooking pot as well as a stew cooked in it. The tagine consists of two parts: a round pot (traditionally clay), and a conical cover with a small hole which allows some steam to escape and there are endless recipes prepared in a tagine from Northern Africa, especially Morocco. These 3 spices are typical - black pepper, ginger and saffron but other spices added makes this dish more flavorful. This tiny tagine that i own, is more for serving as it is too small for cooking. I bet that a stew cooked in a proper large clay tagine will cook a tastier stew.



4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp oil

4 chicken thighs cut into serving sized pieces

A pinch of saffron
1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (optional)
1 tsp ground coriander (optional)
one stick of cinnamon (optional)

Oil for pan-frying chicken
1 big onion, finely chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 cup unsalted chicken broth or stock (or water)
1/2 cup olives
1 preserved lemon, cut into slices or chopped
salt, to taste


Mix the garlic, black pepper, and a spoonful of oil. Rub the chicken with the mixture and set aside for a few hours or overnight.

Heat the oil in a tagine or skillet. Fry the chicken until all sides begin to brown. Remove and set aside.
Add onions, ginger and spices.. Stir-fry over high heat until fragrant.

Put browned chicken back to cook and add chicken broth/stock, or water.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
Cover, but leave a crack for steam to escape. (if using the large tagine, there should be a steam outlet).
Simmer over low heat until chicken is tender and cooked through.

Add olives and preserved lemons and taste first before adjusting taste with salt.
Continue to simmer until sauce has thickened.
Serve chicken, covered with sauce...

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