Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chicken Tagine with preserved lemons and olives

Pre-cooked artwork

The plate is a canvas

Truly Moroccan. A mixture of flavours melded into one. With each individual mouthful, a new taste experience unfolded. Chermoula is now one of my favourite marinades, and I will be using this particular version for many years to come. Served with couscous and homemade Turkish bread, a perfect meal for a rainy, cool Autumn evening. Truly Moroccan, totally divine.

Serves 4


Chermoula Marinade

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1/2 preserved lemon, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 onions, chopped
½ birds eye chilli
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, stems and leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in a little water
1/2 cup olive oil
2 bay leaves, torn in half

1 whole chicken, size 10 or 12 (or a mixture of pieces such as drumsticks and thighs, bone in)
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 large potatoes, cut into wedges
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
150g pitted green olives
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
1 cup water
1 preserved lemon, cut into 6 segments.


1. Marinade: Process all ingredients together in a food processor until finely chopped and thoroughly combined. Leave for 30 minutes before using. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to seven days.

2. Wash and dry the chicken and remove backbone, wing tips and any excess fat. Cut into pieces. Rub all over with ½ of the chermoula marinade and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.

3. Combine the tomato and onion with a little more chermoula and spread into the base of the tajine (this will prevent the chicken from burning on the bottom).Arrange chicken pieces in the centre of the tajine on top of tomato mixture. Coat potato wedges with chermoula and arrange around chicken. Top with onion slices, then tomato slices and olives in between the potato wedges.

4. Mix chopped coriander with remaining chermoula and water. Pour over mixture. Decorate top with preserved lemon wedges.

5. Cover tagine with lid and cook on a very low gas heat for 45 minutes. Do not stir or lift the lid during the cooking process.

Watch a video of the simple preparation technique used to make this dish.


Erika said...

That looks amazing! Do you know if I could do it in a pot with a tight lid? I do not own a tagine, but I might have to buy one!

Pam said...

Hi Erika, thanks for visiting. I'm sure you could cook this in a pot on the stove, or even in the oven. I've even cooked it in a pressure cooker!

Anonymous said...

I cooked this – very tasty. I also added a few small quartered preserved lemons and placed them around the chicken. I found that 45 minutes wasn’t enough time to cook chicken thighs/drumsticks through – so I placed the tajine in the oven to finish off. Served with cous cous and a light salad dressed with lemon/olive oil dressing, very nice meal.