Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Chicken tagine.

This is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.  I bought a tagine on a late night shop to TK Maxx and then had to find something to make in it!  Being a bozo I had forgotten that I now have an induction hob so I was forced to start this recipe off in my large frying pan and then transfer it over into the tagine in the oven. If you have a suitable tagine and hob, or want to make the whole dish in a shallow casserole dish, (you will need one with a lid), then you can avoid this step.

This is not an entry level dish for a fussy kid, but it is easy enough to separate out the different bits of it. For example my eldest had everything including the lemons but I separated the chicken out for my four year old and just hopefully placed a few kalamata olives separately on his plate.  He queried 'the green bits' a.k.a coriander but was happy to accept they were a bit of vegetable and no scraping of chicken was required.  When he first tasted the chicken he said 'this tastes ...(I waited with baited breath, it's now nearly seven o'clock and I have no back up dinner) ..'this tastes different' and proceeded to eat the lot.  And no 1 child had seconds. Hurrah! 

There are lots of fantastic Moroccan side dishes that would go with this but on a week night, cooking on my own, this ain't going to happen.  So I served it with steamed cauliflower and flat green beans.  We don't eat couscous so we had it with organic basmati rice and that soaked up the juices nicely. 

The longer you can marinate the chicken the better but even a couple of hours will work. 

I used a mix of pitted green olives and kalamata olives.  I think the fat purple olives worked the best but are a stronger taste for kids. 


4-6 chicken thighs 
1 large or 2 small onions (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 preserved lemon (deseeded and chopped finely)
Approx a dozen and half olives
1/2 tsp coriander 
1 level tsp cumin
1 heaped tsp ginger 
Salt and pepper 
2 handfuls of coriander (washed and chopped) 
2 tbsp olive oil 
500 ml of home made chicken stock or hot water 


- Mix the  oil, cumin, coriander and ginger into a paste 
- Rub the paste all over the chicken thighs and set aside in a covered dish to marinate. 
- When you are ready to cook the rest of the dish remove the chicken from the fridge to allow it to come to room temperature 

- if you are using the oven preheat it to 180c / Gas Mark 6
( If you are using an earthenware tagine put this in the oven immediately so that it can heat up slowly) 
- On a medium heat brown off the chicken (approximately five minutes on each side).   Set aside 
- Cook the onions for a couple of minutes on each side until softened and then add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
- ( Whilst the onion is cooking heat up the chicken stock in the pan allowing it to get to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Or boil a kettle if you are using water) 
 - Add in the chicken, half of the coriander, the lemon, the olives and the hot stock to the dish. Season with salt and pepper 
- Either simmer allow the dish to simmer on the stove for 45-60 minutes or transfer it into your tagine / casserole dish and put in the oven for approximately one hour until the chicken is cooked through and tender - it should be falling away from the bone. 
- Garnish with the rest of the coriander before serving 

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