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Chicken With Lemon and Olives

Courtesy of congocookbook.com

This Tagine -- the word, also spelled Tajine, refers both to the cooking pot as well as a stew cooked in it -- is one of dozens of classic tagines prepared in Northern Africa, especially Morocco. The tagine consists of two parts: a round pot (traditionally clay), and a conical cover with a small hole which allows some steam to escape.

What you need

  • two to four cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil (or any oil) for pan-frying chicken and mixing marinade
  • one or two chickens, cut into serving sized pieces; or similar amount of chicken breasts
  • Spices:
    • quarter teaspoon black pepper
    • quarter teaspoon ground ginger
    • pinch of saffron
    • one teaspoon cumin (optional)
    • one teaspoon turmeric (optional)
    • one stick of cinnamon or a few pinches of ground cinnamon (optional)
    • one teaspoon coriander (optional)
  • two onions, finely chopped
  • two cups chicken broth or stock (or water)
  • one cup green olives
  • two preserved lemons, cut into slices (see below)
  • salt, to taste

 

What you do

  • Mix the garlic, some black pepper, and a spoonful of oil. Rub the chicken with the mixture and set aside for a few hours or overnight.
  • Heat the oil in a tagine. Fry the chicken until all sides begin to brown. Add spices. (The black pepper, ginger, and saffron are most typical. If you have no saffron, consider one or two of the optional spices, which can be added according to you liking.) Add onions. Stir-fry over high heat for a few minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, stock, or water. Bring to broil. Reduce heat. Cover, but leave a crack for steam to escape. Simmer over low heat for thirty minutes or more.
  • Add olives and preserved lemons. Add salt and adjust seasoning. Continue to simmer. Remove chicken and set aside. If necessary, bring sauce to boil, stirring continuously, until thickened.
  • Serve chicken, covered with sauce...