Moroccan food has always interested me as well as Middle Eastern food due to it’s exotic use of spices, dried and pickled fruits like Preserved Moroccan Lemons. You can pair your preserved lemons with olives in this traditional Moroccan tagine, which is braised.
Typically, a tagine is a rich stew of lamb, chicken, or fish, and usually includes vegetables or fruit. A tagine is a unique type of ceramic or clay cookware that’s popular in Morocco. The bottom is a wide, circular shallow dish used for both cooking and serving, while the top of the tagine is distinctively shaped into a rounded dome or cone. If you do not have a tagine a Dutch oven will do, like my trusty Le Creuset.
In this tagine all the typical players are here: preserved lemons, green olives and chickpeas. Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans. The addition of saffron along with toasted, ground coriander and turmeric creates a wonderful base when sauteed with onions. I like to brown the chicken first to get a deeper flavor and the slow simmer fills your kitchen with an amazing, mouth watering aroma.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
- 1 onion, sliced
- 3 tbsp olive oil, separated
- 5 tbsp butter, separated
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 0.5 gram saffron
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 bone in chicken breasts, 4 legs
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup chopped preserved lemons
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 cup green olives
- 4 tbsp chopped parsley, separated
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. When almost translucent, add ginger, coriander, turmeric, saffron, white pepper and kosher salt. Cook for several minutes and remove from pan. Set aside in tagine base.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter and brown the chicken, skin side down first. Season with salt.
- Add the chicken stock to the onion and spice mixture. Simmer on the stovetop in the tagine on top of stove burner with a heat diffuser for several minutes. You can't place the clay glazed tagine on direct flame or it will crack and ruin the tagine.
- Next, nestle the chicken in the onion mixture, put tagine lid on and place in the oven for 50 minutes.
- Remove tagine from oven, remove chicken and keep warm. Next, add the diced preserved lemon, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and chickpeas. Stir in 2 tbsp butter, then olives and nestle the chicken back in. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. The chickpeas and olives will be heated through (this is hot).
- Serve with a garnish of chopped parsley and preserved lemon quarters on top over couscous or rice.