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Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives

Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives
Tagines are savory Moroccan stews that are cooked and served in vessels of the same name. These slow-simmered dishes are characterized by their fragrant spices and rich, complex sauces. Here, our chicken tagine incorporates Preserved Lemons, which are easy to prepare (see related recipe at right). They imbue the dish with an intense lemon flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken, about 3 lb.
  • 2 Tbs. tagine spices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley,
      plus more for garnish
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 preserved lemon wedges, rinsed and
      pulp removed, or peel of 1 lemon, cut into
      strips 1 inch long
  • 1 cup green or black olives
  • Cooked couscous or basmati rice for serving

Directions:

Cut the chicken into serving pieces: 2 legs, 2 thighs and 2 wings; cut each half-breast in half. Set aside.

In a small sauté pan over medium heat, toast the spices, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the bay leaves, 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, the garlic, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and reserve the marinade.

In a tagine or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the chicken on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onions to the tagine and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chicken, reserved marinade, the 1/2 cup parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, preserved lemon and olives.

Cover the tagine and cook until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone, 1 to 1 1D2 hours. Discard the bay leaves. Garnish with parsley and serve the chicken directly from the tagine. Accompany with couscous. Serves 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.