5.14.10 Well Preserved
Moroccan Chicken Tagine
- — 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, ginger, paprika and turmeric
- — 5 cloves garlic, minced
- — 1/2 pound yellow onions, diced
- — 1/2 teaspoon saffron
- — 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- — 1 large bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- — 5 tablespoons olive oil
- — 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- — kosher salt
- — 1 whole large chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- — 1/4 pound chicken livers, optional
- — 1/2 cup cracked green olives, pitted
- — 3 preserved lemons, rind only, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Rub the chicken pieces with kosher salt. Combine vinegar with 3 cups water in a bowl and soak the chicken for 10 minutes. Rinse, dry well and place on a clean plate.
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, cilantro, cinnamon, saffron, sea salt, half the onions, garlic, cumin, ginger, paprika and turmeric. Mix these into the oil and add a little water to make a paste. Slather the chicken pieces with the marinade and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
For cooking, use a tagine or a deep, heavy-bottomed casserole like a Dutch oven. Heat the pot and then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Drop in the chicken and pour over any leftover marinade. Add the remaining onions, chicken livers, if using, olives and chopped preserved lemons. Cover and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. Serve with couscous, rice or some delicious whole grain sourdough bread. Pass harissa on the side.
- — lemons (Meyers work well, too)
- — sea salt
- — cinnamon sticks, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns; optional
Wash and dry lemons. Hold them over a plate to catch any juice that flows out when you make four deep longitudinal cuts, dividing the lemon into four sections attached at the ends. Do not cut all the way through—you want to keep the lemons whole! Pack the cuts generously with kosher salt.
Place a couple of tablespoons of salt in the bottom of a jar and pack the lemons in layers, sprinkling a thin layer of salt between each layer. Intersperse with any spices you want. Push the lemons down firmly to pack them tightly and to squeeze out their juices. Top them off with a last layer of salt. Pour in any juices from the plate, adding a little water or more juice to fully cover the lemons. Close jar and seal tightly.
Let the jar sit out at room temperature for a few days. They will be ready to eat in about 3 weeks and will keep for up to a year. They do not absolutely require refrigeration, but you might as well if you have room in your fridge.