Which came first the chicken or the preserved lemons?
A recipe for Chicken Tagine
For last months can jam challenge I made several jars of preserved lemons. It was the first time I’d done this and so I was excited for the time when they’d be ready and I could cook with them. In the end I got all busy with other making and baking and its mid February before I’m getting round to using my lemons. Yesterday I finally made a chicken tagine, and it is awesome!
First of all you should know that the preserved lemons are wonderful. When I opened the jar I was not too sure what to expect, all that’s in there is a ton of lemon and salt. But the scent that wafted up from the jar was sort of sweet and floral before it was citrusy. I was entranced. I made Melissa come and have a giant sniff. I stood and admired them for a while. Finally I got back to making the tagine.
The recipe comes from the same book, Arabesque, that I recommended when making the preserved lemons, and, once again Claudia Rodin does not disappoint. It’s a really easy recipe to make and yet has a really great complex flavor — the combination of olives and preserved lemons is simply perfection. I made a giant batch of couscous to serve it on and there you go. Easy and impressive Moroccan fare. The first mouthful had me transported back to Marrakesh which I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago.
Chicken Tagine: slightly adapted from Claudia Rodin’s Arabesque
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 3 med onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp crushed saffron threads
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 chicken cut into pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 c. chicken stock
- 1/2 c. water
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 4 Tbs chopped coriander
- peel of 2 medium preserved lemons, cut into thick slices
- 16 pitted olives
In a large pot fry the onions in the olive oil until soft, stir in the garlic, saffron and ginger. Then add the chicken pieces and pour in the chicken stock and water. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally, and then remove the chicken breasts. Continue to simmer the remaining chicken until cooked, about another 25 minutes then return the breasts to the pot. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. If the sauce is still thin remove the chicken and set aside and reduce the sauce until it is thick. Add the chicken back and heat through.
Serve on a bed of couscous (which I make by adding boiling water to the couscous in a bowl, allow to sit covered 5 minutes, stir in 2 Tbs butter and fluff the couscous to break up the grains)