Wednesday, April 23

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Chicken simmered in a Moroccan spice blend with olives and preserved lemons

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons

This is a great recipe for anyone who is stuck in a chicken rut or who is looking for a unique dinner party dish. After all, how common is it to serve Moroccan food to your friends and family? I originally had the idea to cook a tagine after Googling ways to use my preserved lemons and put together this version based on my favorite elements from the different recipes I read. Tagines get their name for the special type of cooking vessel they are traditionally made in, but I adapted the recipe for use in an large heavy pot or dutch oven. The chicken legs are browned and then simmered with sauteed onions in a sauce made from chicken stock, preserved lemons, and spices. The olives and preserved lemons add a wonderful salty briny flavor, so hold off on adding too much additional salt until you taste it at the end.  Make sure that you serve the tagine with couscous, rice, or flatbread to soak up the amazing sauce.

Note: Preserved lemons can be found in some specialty food stores or online here. But it's just as easy to make your own.

More One-Pot Chicken Recipes:
- Braised Chicken with Mushrooms
- Roasted Lemon Chicken & Sunchokes
- Chicken with Fig & Wine Sauce

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Olives & Preserved Lemon:
  • Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add in 4 whole chicken legs* and sear for 3-4 minutes per side, or until browned.
  • Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Add in 2 sliced onions and lower the heat to medium.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. 
  • Add in 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the pulp from 1 preserved lemon, 2 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper.
  • Let the spices toast for a minute, then add in 1 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken stock and scrape and bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Add in the chicken and any accumulated juices, bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer.**
  • Cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in 1/2 c. green olives and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Divide onto plates and sprinkle each with a little chopped preserved lemon rind and chopped cilantro.

Serves four
*Bone-in drumsticks with the thigh attached. Can replace with 4 chicken drumsticks and 4 bone-in thighs.
**The chicken shouldn't be fully submerged, but the liquid should come up to about half.