MOROCCAN BIRTHDAY FEAST – CHICKEN TAGINE WITH PRESERVED LEMON AND OLIVES
When we were in Marrakech over Easter we went to a cooking class where we learnt to make this Tagine. It was really delicious, so I decided to make it for the birthday celebration for 14 people. I made it in the morning, let it sit to incorporate all the flavours and then heated it up in the oven for an hour so it was ready for dinner time. I served it with Roasted Pepper Salad, Herbed Basmati Rice, Chickpea CousCous and Green Salad. Most of these things I was able to prepare earlier, so when my guests arrived, a lot of the work was done.
There is no salt added in this recipe, as the Preserved Lemon is salty and the Olives can be quite salty depending on the variety.
I will give the recipe here for 4 people, it is easy to increase it to feed more!
- 4 large or 8 small Organic Chicken Thighs, on the bone with the skin on
- Pulp of 1 Preserved Lemon – finely chopped (not the rind, only the pulp)
- 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon of Ghee (leave out if you want this dish dairy free – add another tablespoon of Olive Oil instead)
- 1 Onion – finely chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves – finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch Coriander Leaves – finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch Flat Leave Parsley – finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Tumeric
- 2 pinches of Saffron Threads
- 1 cup Boiling Water
- Ground Black Pepper
- 10 Large Green Olives
In a heavy based frypan [that has a lid] (or Tagine if you have one) melt the Olive Oil and Ghee and add the Onion and Garlic. Cook until softened.
Add the Ground Ginger and Tumeric and stir around for a minute to release the flavours.
Add the Preserved Lemon, Parsley, Coriander and Saffron, stir around.
Add the Chicken Thighs, Skin side down and push aside the Onion mixture, so the skin is touching the bottom of the pan. Leave to cook for a few minutes until the skin gets a little brown and crispy. Add some freshly ground Black Pepper.
Turn over the Chicken Thighs so the skin side is now up. Add the boiling water, mixing to incorporate the Onion mixture with the water.
Cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes approximately or until the chicken is cooked. Check on it to make sure there is enough liquid, adding more boiling water if necessary to make sure there is enough sauce.
Add the Green Olives and cook for a further 5 minutes.
It is now ready to eat!!!
As my portions were so big, I cooked mine in a large roasting dish, starting the process on the stove and then finishing it in the oven. I covered it for the first 20 minutes of cooking, but left the cover off for the reheating stage as I wanted the chicken to brown up nicely. Serve it with something to soak up all those lovely juices!!