Chicken tagine with preserved lemon & olives

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Ever since I went to Morocco last year, I have been bingeing on its cooking. This is a lovely dish for a spring or summer evening, especially if served with a salad. I made a tangy kachumbar to go alongside it. The ingredients are easy – I aways have preserved lemons and olives in my fridge, the rest of the ingredients in the store cupboard. Important to use chicken things as they are much more tasty and moist, and withstand long cooking.

Serves 4

olive oil
1 large onion
2 garlic gloves peeled and sliced thinly
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
4 large chicken thighs, skin removed
pinch of saffron
2 tbsp boiling water
salt and pepper
100 g green olives, stoned
3 preserved lemons halved, and pips removed
handful of flat-leafed parsley, chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a casserole dish – I used a le creuset. Add the onions and fry for a couple of minutes and then add the garlic and the spices. Fry until fragrant and soft. Add the chicken thighs and fry them to seal for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile steep the saffron threads in some boiling water for a couple of minutes. Then add to the chicken., along with salt and pepper. Add hot water to the pan to cover the chicken, put the lid on a let it simmer very gently for two hours. Check from time to time to ensure its not getting too wet, or drying out. If too much liquid, just offset the casserole lid slightly.

At the end fo the cooking, add the preserved lemons and the olives and cook for a further 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parley and serve. I made some couscous to soak up the unctuous juices.IMG_8166

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