Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

The last time I made a tagine my camera deleted all my pics I was planning to post.  It was such a bummer.  I ended up presenting my readers with a super lame post here.  Well, this chicken tagine totally makes up for the previous non-tagine post.  I took a bite of the end result and the first thing I thought to myself was holy moly... this is good.  Then, I ran over to my neighbors, G & D, with a container of it to share.

I made this in my good ol' Le Creuset dutch oven because I didn't actually have a Moroccan tagine earthenware pot with the funny looking top that reminds me of a chimney.  A tagine is the cookware that the stew is cooked and it is also the braised meat and/or vegetable stew.  If you don't know, Morocco is known for having a vast amount of spices being at the end of the spice trail.  The spices in this dish smell so fragrant and mouth watering with the onion, ginger, and garlic.  I've never been to Morocco but if I did, I definitely think Morocco would smell exactly like this dish.  It is on my bucket list places to travel to one of these days. 

Recipe for Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Adapted from Ten Dollar Meals
Makes 6 servings

3 1/2 lbs chicken thighs and drumsticks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
2 tbs fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c white wine
1/2 c chicken broth
2 preserved lemons, chopped, recipe follows
1 c gently crushed kalamata olives
1/2 c fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro

Pat the chicken dry, and season well with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, and brown the chicken on all sides.  This takes about 5 to 6 minutes per side.  Remove the chicken and set aside.  Add the onion, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and cook until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, and add the garlic and stir for a minute.  Increase the heat and deglaze with wine, stirring, and allowing it to bubble.  Add the broth and bring it to a boil.  Put the chicken back into the dutch oven.  Lower the heat, and cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes, then remove the chicken and set aside.

To the sauce, add the lemon, olives, parsley, and cilantro and simmer on medium-low for 5 minutes.  Return the chicken back to the dutch oven.  Sprinkle the dish with any remaining parsley and cilantro.

Recipe for Preserved Lemons

3 organic lemons, skin scrubbed well
Kosher salt 
4 peppercorns
1/2 lemon, juiced

Place the lemons, 2 to 3 tbs salt, peppercorns, and lemon juice in a quart jar and cover with water.  Store chilled for 3 weeks.

When you pat down the chicken with paper towels, it draws the moisture out and allows it to crisp up and brown nicely in the pot.

I poured myself a glass of pinot grigio while I was cooking.  I couldn't resist.  Cooking in the kitchen with a glass of wine and listening to Pandora is one of my favorite things to do.  I totally zone out and relax.

I'm definitely a dark meat kinda girl even though I probably do not appear to be because I like eating healthy.  I will always choose chicken thighs and drumsticks over chicken breasts.  I will also almost always choose skin on and bone in chicken.   It's so much easier to cook with because it doesn't dry out as easily and stays nice and juicy.  

I was first introduced to preserved lemons through one of my best girlfriends, Vicki.  She made me these meyer lemon preserves as part of my wedding gift and I treasure them.  They really perk up anything you eat like pastas, sandwiches, meat, etc.  Once you preserve the lemons, they last at least 6 months in the fridge.  

I'm sad that summer is gone.  The sun goes down so early and you will see this reflected in my pics.  Most of the time, I cook after work so you'll notice that my pictures will not have good lighting since it will usually be well into the evening.

It smells divine.  Serve with couscous, quinoa, rice or whatever starch your heart desires.


DrunkOnShoes said...

omg starvation! this looks amazeballs. u always make me so hungry.

Misherr said...

Omg this looks delish!!! I wish I live next door and you came running with a container of it! ;)

Monica said...

thanks shai! =)

misherr, i wish you lived next door too!! btw, i can't believe you are so far away now! i feel like you are still right in pasadena for some reason.

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