Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives
Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives is a great recipe to make first if you have never made a tagine recipe before. Chicken, lemon and olives are found in many Moroccan recipes. This recipe has them all, and the flavor is outstanding. This was originally a Tofu-based recipe, so you can make it with tofu for a Vegetarian dish. The result is tender, very flavorful dish. Served over rice or couscous and you have a meal.
A tagine is the best way to cook this recipe since it holds the heat and allows the steam to run back into the lower dish. If you don’t have a tagine, you can use a Dutch Oven or other heavy pot.
1 Chicken, about 3 lb., cut into 10 pieces, or 2-3 pounds of Chicken Breasts, each cut in half. If you make with tofu, use 2 packages (about 2 pounds) of extra firm tofu, cut into 1″ cubes. Adjust the browning time so the tofu doesn’t burn, as well as reduce the cooking time.
½ Teaspoon Hungarian Paprika or Spanish Sweet Paprika
½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ Teaspoon Ground Ginger
½ Teaspoon Turmeric
2 Bay Leaves
1 15 Oz Can Low-salt Chicken or Vegetable Stock
4 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, Sliced
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
2 Small Yellow Onions, Thinly Sliced
½ Cup Chopped Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley plus More for Garnish
½ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
¼ Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
6 Preserved Lemon Wedges, rinsed and pulp removed, or peel of 1 lemon, cut into strips 1 inch long
1 Cup Green Olives (we use pimento stuffed olives)
Cooked Couscous or Basmati Rice for Serving
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
In a small sauté pan over medium heat, toast the spices, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the chicken stock, bay leaves, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the chicken or tofu and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
Remove the tofu or chicken from the marinade and reserve the marinade.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the chicken on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to the tagine and cover to keep warm.
Reduce te heat to medium. Add the onions to the pan and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent. Transfer to the tagine along with the reserved marinade, the ½ cup parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, preserved lemon and olives.
Cover and put tagine in the 325 degree oven on the mid position rack. Cook until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone about 1 to 1 ½ hours. If you are making with tofu reduce cooking time to about 45 minutes to 1 hour. It will be ready and wonderfully flavored when the time is up, so don’t keep looking or you will lose all the steam in the tagine. Discard the bay leaves. Garnish with parsley and serve the tofu or chicken directly from the tagine. Accompany with Basmati rice or couscous.