Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chicken Lemon Olive Tagine

Tagine or Tajine is probably recognized as a Moroccan signature dish.  The name is associated with the tajine earthenware pots used to cook the stew, but the dish can easily be cooked in a dutch oven or pot.

There is a wide variety of tagine dishes.  This recipe braises chicken with lemon and olives in broth spiced with cumin, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon until the meat comes to a to a fall-off-the-bone texture. Delicious.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 75 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Special Tools:  Large Dutch Oven or Cast Iron Pot


3 lb. Chicken cut into 8 pieces
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
14 Pearl Onions peeled and kept whole
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Plantains cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Lemon (whole)
1 Cup Kalamata Olives pitted
1/2 Cup Cilantro chopped

Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

In a large dutch oven or cast iron pot place the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the chicken to the pot to brown the meat on all sides (about 10 minutes).  Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the pearl onions to the pot along with the cumin, turmeric, ground ginger, and cinnamon.  Sauté the onions until golden and soft (about 8 minutes).   Return the chicken to the pot with the butter, chicken broth and plantain pieces.   Cut a 2 inch slit on the lemon and add it to the pot.  Bring the pot to a boil then reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Cover the pot and let simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes add the Kalamata olives and let the pot simmer for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender.

To serve ladle the chicken onto plates or pasta bowls.  Garnish the dishes with chopped cilantro and serve the dish with a side of couscous or crusted bread.  Enjoy.

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