Saturday, January 27, 2018

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Olives #SpicesoftheSouk #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Le Creuset. All opinions are my own.

Last term, I taught a class about rice dishes from around the world and had approached my contact at Le Creuset about getting a tagine for when we, by tabletop, traveled to Morocco. Yes! She said 'yes.' Then the final week of my class was canceled and I never got a chance to use the pot. I was guilt-ridden.

So, I signed up to teach another six-week class and made sure that I used the tagine during the second week of class...just to make sure we didn't have another scheduling snafu. So, I am finally using the tagine as I said I would: to teach kids to cook!

A tajine or tagine is a Maghrebi dish named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. So, it refers to both the cooking vessel and the resulting food; it is also called a maraq/marqa in North Africa and the Middle East.

Mentions of the tagine date back to Harun al-Rashid who was a ruler of the Early Muslim conquests and it appears in the 9th century collection of stories One Thousand and One Nights. At the same time, it was noted during the Islamic reign of the Abbasid Empire that stretched from the Middle East/Asia to North Africa and Andalusia.

The dish was used by nomadic Bedouin people of the Arabian Peninsula, who added dried fruits such as dates, apricots and plums to it. Tagine is traditionally cooked over hot charcoal with the shape of the lid acting as a self-basting tool. The circular base is flat with low sides and the cover is a large cone-shape that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is designed to collect all condensation and re-direct to back to the bottom. 

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Olives

Ingredients serves 8
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • ¼ t saffron threads, pulverized
  • ½  t ground ginger
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • ½ t ground cumin
  • ½ t turmeric
  • whole chicken, cut in 8 to 10 pieces, or 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 C olives, pitted and halved
  • 4 to 5 preserved lemon wedges, pulp removed and rind sliced thinly
  • 2 C chicken stock
  • 2 T chopped flat-leaf parsley

Blend garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin, and turmeric together. Rub chicken with mixture, cover, refrigerate and marinate 3 to 4 hours. I did this part ahead of class, so it probably marinated for 8 hours.

Heat half of the oil in heavy skillet. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Heat the remaining oil in the tagine. Add onions and cook over medium-low heat until lightly browned.

Tuck the cinnamon stick into the onions and place the browned chicken on top of that.

Scatter with olives and preserved lemon strips.

Pour stock over chicken. Bring to a boil, then cover. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle with parsley and divide into individual servings. Serve hot.

The kids loved it and, between mouthfuls, decided that we were going to make biriyani next week. Stay tuned!

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*Disclosure: I received this product for free from the sponsor and/or its public relations team in exchange for an honest review. I have received no additional compensation for my post. My opinion is 100% my own and 100% accurate.

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