Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives

I’ve been in the mood for chicken tagine recently and the delivery of some new preserved lemons (see below) was just the excuse needed. If you can’t find preserved lemons, they’re easy to make yourself. Give yourself time to let the chicken marinate. Serves 4:

Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives

  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads, pulverized
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chicken, cut in 8 to 10 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, sliced thin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 calamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 8 cracked green olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 large or 3 small preserved lemons
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Mix garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric together. If not using kosher chicken, add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add pepper to taste. Rub chicken with mixture, cover, refrigerate and marinate 3 to 4 hours.

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. Add cinnamon stick.

Put chicken on onions in the pan. Scatter with olives. Quarter the lemons, remove pulp and cut skin in strips. Scatter over chicken. Mix stock and 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, serve and enjoy.

My verdict:

This is my go-to recipe for chicken tagine which I usually served with couscous. To cut it down for 2 people I used a couple of good-sized chicken thighs and cut all quantities in half except for the saffron and olives. I sliced a zucchini into ¼” rounds and added it to the pan with the chicken so we’d have a veg and that worked out well.

I love preserved lemons and used the pulp and rind cut into slivers. My friend Naomi who owns Le Bon Magot sent me some of her new Tunisian-Style Preserved Lemons, which were so good I could have eaten them straight out of the jar! The liquid is great added to salad dressing (and I would guess marinades).

 

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