The jewel in the crown of Moroccan cuisine – despite the couscous dumplings, crispy chickpeas and the tasty pastilla dish, is also worth a look – the tagine is the soup that takes its name from the heavy crockery pot where it is slow cooked, traditionally on an open fire, or a bed of charcoal.
Tajine can be cooked from almost anything – lamb and chicken remain the most common, but beef, goats and even camels are prepared these days (and you can also make something interesting as a barbarian omelette in one, if desired).
What they all share is the slow, low cooking – I chose the chicken casserole with olives and preserved lemon, which Claudia Rodin described as “the most popular and popular Moroccan chicken dish among Moroccans”. These flavors will look more delicious than beef and peaches.
Note – In Morocco, tagine is generally served with bread, where the couscous is prepared according to itself. Both, in my opinion, are equally good at getting rid of any sauce, so you should feel free to do whatever you want.
Chicken breasts, as suggested by Algerian restaurant Mourad Mazouz and Moroccan-based chef Hassan Messouli, are very dry for this dish, and breasts take a long time to cook, although they give a better flavor. If you cook for a variety of tastes, I It is better buying a whole chicken, and tie it yourself, but otherwise, chicken thighs provide the right amount of meat, while the bones add depth and flavor to the broth.
Onions are a must in a tagine, and used as a chicken bed, as the Late Gourmet Magazine and M’Souli suggest, is a clever idea, preventing chickens from sticking to the base of the pan. To make this bed more substantial, it is useful to cut it into thin slices, rather than grating, as in the recipe of Roden – thin halos are also visually pleasant along with preserved lemon fragments and puffed purple.
Chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, thin longitudinal slices
3 cloves garlic
2tsp ground ginger
½tsp saffron, in a little warm water
½ lemon juice
2 small preserved lemons
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
A small handful of fresh coriander
6 chicken thighs
3 tablespoons purple olives
Heat a tagine or a shallow pan over low heat and add the oil followed by a layer of onion. Mash the garlic with 1/2tsp salt and add to the pan.
Sprinkle over ginger, saffron water and cinnamon, followed by lemon juice, coarsely chopped pulp of preserved lemon and rind both, cut into slices. Add the chopped parsley and coriander 2 tbsp and stir well.
Arrange the chicken on top and spread it over the olives. Pour 174 ml of water into the pan, cover gently and gently pour for 44 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
Marinate and taste with the remaining coriander, and cut.
What is your point: Can you make a decent tagine without the same tagine? What are your favorite Tagine, and do you like to give them bread or couscous – or something else entirely?
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