Cooking Chicken Tagine
Makes: 10 servings
•5 (2 lb 8 oz/1.13 kg) chickens, cut into 6 pieces each
•1 tbsp/15 g salt
•1 1/2 tsp/3 g ground black pepper
•2 fl oz/60 mL extra-virgin olive oil
•30 cipollini onions, blanched and peeled
•1 ginger piece (1/2 in/1 cm long), thinly sliced
•5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
•1 tsp/2 g cumin seeds, toasted and ground
•1/4 tsp/0.20 g saffron
•8 to 10 fl oz/240 to 300 mL water or chicken stock, or as needed
•50 picholine olives
•2 Preserved Lemons (recipe follows)
•4 tbsp/12 g chopped parsley
1.Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
2.Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a tagine, rondeau, or brasier. Place the chicken pieces carefully in the oil and sauté until they turn golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a hotel pan and reserve.
3.Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring from time to time, until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and toast until aromatic, 1 minute more. Add the cumin and saffron and cook until the mixture turns a deeper color and gives off a sweet aroma, about 1 minute.
4.Return the chicken to the pan and add the water or stock. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Cover and braise for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, turning the pieces occasionally to keep them evenly moistened. (Maintain only a small amount of water or stock so the braising liquid will become concentrated.)
5.In the last 15 minutes, add the olives, lemons, and parsley. Simmer the mixture until the olives are tender and the aroma of the lemons is apparent.
6.Remove the lemons and serve the tagine immediately or hold it hot for service.
Makes: 6 lemons
•5 oz/142 g salt
•10 fl oz/300 mL lemon juice, or as needed
1.Wash the lemons very well. Cut each one in 6 wedges lengthwise and remove all the seeds. Place the lemon wedges in a very clean jar. Add the salt and the lemon juice and mix well. Add more lemon juice if necessary to just cover the lemons.
2.Cover with a lid and refrigerate. Stir the lemons every day or two to help dissolve the salt. Allow the lemons to cure for at least 1 week. Rinse under cold water before using as needed.
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