While on vacation a few months ago, we made our bi-annual trip to the outlet mall. While there, my mother-in-law officially decreed that every time we go to the outlet mall, I get a piece from Le Creuset. God bless her.
This time I chose a tagine. A tagine is a traditional cooking vessel from Morocco.
It turned out to be a very wise purchase. This thing rocks! I've made tagine chicken three times now, and every time it has come out great. I didn't have to marinate the chicken at all, and yet it was flavorful and moist. My whole family loves my tagines — even my toddler who is a bit picky.
It's something to do with the way the shape of the cone encourages condensation which rises and falls… My mother-in-law tried to explain it to me. I don't understand it at all but I will say, whatever it is, it works.
And, because I got it at the outlet store, the tagine only cost $80. The outlet malls have Le Creuset “seconds” which are supposedly flawed in some way and not “first” quality. But for the life of me, I can't find any flaws in the seconds I have bought.
Notes On This Recipe
I spoke to a Moroccan cooking expert at the WAPF conference and she said you can use a regular dutch oven or cast iron skillet with a lid. It might not come out AS good as it does with the tagine, but it will work just fine.
Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Green Olives
Olive oil and/or butter (2 TBS) — I used all butter and it was great
Chicken thighs and breasts (3 pounds) — with bone or boneless and ideally pastured chicken, or at least organic — I did about half thigh and half breast meat — you could do all breast meat but I don't know if it would be quite as flavorful and moist; also, with the bone is more flavorful but either will work
Large yellow or white onion (1)
Lemons, ideally organic (2)
Garlic cloves (2-3)
Paprika (1 TBS) — where to buy paprika
Ground cinnamon (1 tsp) — where to buy cinnamon
Ground ginger (1 tsp) — where to buy ginger
Honey (1/4 cup) — where to buy honey
Chicken stock, ideally homemade (2 cups)
Green olives (drained of liquid) (3/4 – 1 cup )
Freshly ground black pepper where to buy black pepper
1. Add butter/olive oil to your tagine or a large cast iron skillet and heat over low to medium-low heat.
2. Add chopped onion. Cook until soft.
3. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
4. Set burner to high and add chicken to tagine (or skillet). Sear until slightly browned. Turn down the heat.
5. Cut lemons in half. Squeeze 2-3 tablespoons worth of juice and set aside. Cut lemons into small slices.
6. Add sliced lemons, crushed garlic, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, and honey to tagine (or skillet) and mix.
7. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
8. Once boiling, if using Le Creuset tagine, reduce heat to low and cover. If using clay tagine, transfer from skillet to tagine, reduce heat to low and cover.
9. Cook for 45 minutes.
10. Transfer chicken to bowl or plate.
11. Add olives and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to tagine.
12. Set heat to high. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until it reduces 2/3 to 3/4.
13. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
14. Add chicken back to the tagine and serve over brown rice or whole wheat couscous (if using couscous, soak overnight with water and whey or couscous).