Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tagine of Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives

(Tagine Djaj Bi Zaytoun Wal Hamid)

This is a Morrocan recipe from a book called Arabesque .

3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, grated or chopped very fine
2-3 garlic cloves crushed
1/2 tsp crushed saffron
1/4-1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 chicken, jointed
salt and black pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
2tbsp chopped coriander
2tbsp chopped parsley
peel of 1 large or 2 small preserved lemons
12-16 green or violet olives

using a casserole that can hold all the chicken in one layer, sauté the onions over low heat until they soften, then stir in the garlic, saffron and ginger.

Add the chicken pieces, season with salt and pepper, and pour in about 300ml water. Simmer covered, turning the pieces over a few times, and adding more water if it starts to get dry. Lift out the breasts after 20 min and put them to one side. Continue to cook the rest of the pieces for another 25 minutes or so, then return the breasts to the pan.
Stir in the lemon juice, chopped coriander, parsley, preserved lemon peel cut into quarters or strips, and the olives. Simmer, uncovered 5-10 min, until the sauce is reduced and thick. If it needs to be thicker, remove the chicken and simmer some more.

This came out nice. I have to admit, I wasn't over the moon for it, but it was tasty. The chicken was very tender, and the flavor was actually quite a bit more subtle then I was expecting. I think maybe that was my problem with it, I was looking forward to a much more intense flavor.

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