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June 16, 2012 / beatricebunny

Morrocan Style Cooking

Another long break in this blog.  I’ve been cooking some, but nothing really worth writing about.  The nature of my job changed, and I spent 8 weeks in a row flying out during the week.  That trend ended yesterday, and I hope that means I will be able to cook more creatively and also do more bulk cooking. Hopefully, I will have an interesting bulk cooking update tomorrow or next weekend.  Today, I am super excited to talk about my latest kitchen toy.

Behold!  The tagine:

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This lovely clay pot was my birthday present from darling husband.  He’d be the first to tell you that it wasn’t a completely unselfish gift.  Tagine dishes are usually used to make braised meats and stews.  The conical shape of the top creates really moist dishes.

I broke this baby out last night and cooked Chicken Tagine with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon.  I did not use a recipe completely, but I referenced this very nice recipe from Simply Recipes. My tagine explicitly says that it cannot be used on the stove top, so I finished the first 20 minutes of cooking in a skillet and then transferred it to the tagine.  I also really despise raisins, so I replaced them with mission figs in this recipe.  One tip: the recipe says that you can replace the preserved lemons with thinly sliced meyer lemons.  Don’t do it!  Preserved lemons have a very distinct flavor.  I was unable to find some locally, so I ordered some from Amazon.  Several sources also state that they are pretty easy to make yourself, so that will be a future project.

My recipe is as follows:

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (or enough to coat the bottom of your skillet)
  • ~4 lbs of just chicken thighs (bone-in with skin)
  • Salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • The rind from 1 preserved lemon, rinsed, pulp discarded, cut into thin strips.
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted, halved
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped mission figs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  1. Toss the dry spices with the chicken thighs.  Make sure fully coated.  Let sit one hour.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet to medium high.  (Tip: Heat your skillet and then add your oil.  Heating your skillet first causes the metal to expand and keeps your oil from being absorbed into your skillet.  Your food will stick less.)
  4. Place the chicken in a single layer in the skillet skin side down.  Brown.  (About 5 minutes)
  5. Lower heat to medium-low.  Add onions and garlic. Cover and cook 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken to the tagine, flipping as you do so.  Make sure that you get all of the fat, scrapings, onion, and garlic in the transfer.
  7. Add the figs, water, lemon, and olives.
  8. Bake for an additional half an hour until the chicken’s juices run clear.
  9. Enjoy over rice or couscous.

This should feed 4-6 people.

The result was the tenderest chicken that I’ve ever eaten.  We were really happy with the result.  We ate ours with basmati rice and store-bought Naan.

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Staci / Jun 25 2012 11:20 am

    I have a pin on pinterest for a preserved lemons recipe!

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