Morocco's famous Chicken & Olive Tagine

By Hind

It was only fitting that my very first recipe that I post is also the very first recipe I have ever cooked.


A Tagine is the local name for a cone-shaped clay vessel that is used directly over the coals to cook various meats in different sauces. Cooking a Tagine taught me three things: 1) that I can cook, 2) that cooking is about generosity and love and 3) I could make those recipes much quicker.

Before moving on to the recipe: an ode to this tasty Tagine.

I obviously decided to start here, because it’s my all time favorite dish -- as well as Morocco’s.

The most sophisticated version of Tagine is served as the second course (of many) at Moroccan weddings, a statement credential if ever there was one. This version is dedicated to weddings, and requires hours of slow cooking.

Below, is an everyday version with my speedy twist.

Ingredients (feeds 4 people - generously)

- 12 skinless boneless chicken thighs (you can also use 10 chicken thighs or 1 full chicken but I have chicken bone-phobia, so I always stick to boneless)

- 3 big onions finely chopped (those early years chopping skills come in handy!)

- 1 garlic clove finely chopped

- 1 coffee spoon of ground ginger

- 1 coffee spoon of ground safran

- 4-5 Pure Saffron strands

- 1 jar of pitted green olives

- 1 jar of preserved lemon

Instructions

1. In a deep pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil

2. Pour the chopped onions and garlic into the oil. Cook until golden.

3. Add in the spices (ginger, saffron powder, saffron, salt to taste)

4. Put the chicken thighs (or full chicken) into the pan on high heat until slightly golden on the outside (so far, this should not take more than 5-7minutes)

5. Add in a full jar of pitted olives, and half of the slices of preserved lemon skin (keeping some to the side)

6. Add in enough water to cover the chicken and let simmer until chicken is cooked and water is reduced to an unctuous sauce.

Extra tip: transfer the whole thing to an oven dish, decorate with remaining lemon slices and put in the oven at 356 degrees Fahrenheit / 180 degrees Celsius for a few minutes until lightly browned. Enjoy with a generous side of bread.

 

“The most sophisticated version of Tagine is served as the second course (of many) at Moroccan weddings, a statement credential if ever there was one.”

Thanks to Latifa, I have a tool that helps me reconnect with my home even when I am away from home. I am able to take part in the delicious food and love-spreading so many before me have done, and I hope to continue with others.

Let us know what other Moroccan recipes you’d like to discover by commenting below or getting in touch via instagram @whind


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