I saw this tagine on offer at the hotel restaurant several times before I tried it because I wasn't sure the flavours would work together. Once I did, I was hooked ! The spices form a crusty residue at the bottom of the dish that is beautiful scraped up with a piece of crusty bread and the mushy lemon pulp gives a lovely citrus hit that combines perfectly with the spicy sauce and meat. Preserved lemons in brine can be bought in Moroccan markets but I haven't checked out how easy they are to find in supermarkets yet. As with all of the Moroccan recipes I've been sharing, this is traditonally cooked in a tagine but any lidded pan would do and I'll be experimenting with the slow cooker too.
Chicken with Olives and Preserved Lemons
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
one small handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
one small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1 large handful olives
3 preserved lemons, halved
Brown all the chicken pieces on all sides. Reserve.
Combine the oil, onions, coriander, parsley, garlic and spices in the tagine and place the partly cooked chicken on top, spooning over some of the sauce. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes and spooning more sauce over the meat, until it is well cooked and almost ready to fall off the bone. Remove the chicken from the tagine and reduce the sauce over a low heat until there is very little liquid left.
Add the olives and lemons and a few tbsp of water, stir and simmer for ten minutes. Push the lemons to the edges of the tagine and put the chicken back in the middle of the pot.
This can be served with vegetables and couscous or just a big hunk of crusty bread to mop up the spicy residue in the bottom of the dish.
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