Thursday, April 29, 2010

Moroccan chicken tagine with lemon, olives and thyme

chicken-tagine (5)

There's a saying that a little preparation goes a long way. That's true in the case of this dinner - and many of the dinners I make. When I get home from work, I want a good dinner, but I really don't want to think about it. So, each week, I figure out in advance what we're going to have each night. I then make my grocery list and I'm set. I know exactly what I need to do each day and I don't have to puzzle over dinner after a long day at the office.

Many of the meals I make may seem time intensive, but broken down, they're actually quite easy. This tagine requires marinating the chicken for several hours. I make the marinade in the morning, pop it in the fridge, and it's all set when I get home. Into the tagine it goes and the meal is ready in about an hour (most of which is hands-off simmering time). The chicken is so tender it taste like it cooked all day and the lemon, olives and thyme give it tons of flavor.


Chicken tagine with lemon, olives and thyme
adapted from Tagine by Ghillie Basan

8-10 chicken thighs
1 Tbsp. olive oil plus a pat of butter
1/2 large lemon cut into very thin wedges
6 oz. large green pitted olives
1/2 tsp. dried thyme

For the marinade:
1 onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
a small bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
a pinch of saffron threads
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. coarse salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl, then add the chicken and stir to coat the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.

chicken-tagine (1)

Heat the olive oil and butter in a tagine or heavy-based casserole dish. Remove the chicken from the marinade and brown on both sides, working in batches if necessary. Pour the marinade over the chicken and add enough water to come halfway up the chicken pieces. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally.

chicken-tagine (3)

Skim off any fat that's risen to the top. Add the lemon, thyme and olives. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

I like to serve this with hand-rolled couscous and carrots sauteed with mustard seed and fenugreek and sprinkled with cilantro.

chicken-tagine (4)


Le said...

yummy chicken dish! I love Moroccan flavours! Btw I nominated ya for an award. Check it out at:

lululu said...

truly tasty dish! i love how simple it is to make this.

penny aka jeroxie said...

Yum! Love the flavours. Need to make some soon.

Kathy Gori said...

That looks so tasty! I wish I had some right now. Beautifully photographed

Anonymous said...

beautiful picture. I love the idea of chicken and olives...

June said...

That looks SOOOOO good!

D. W. Plates said...

That chicken is absolutely beautiful. I have yet to get a tagine but I'm definitely itching to, this recipe will be added to the growing list of waiting recipes.

Elin said...

Great chicken dish with Moroccan touch :) Love this tasty chicken dish. Have KIV it :) Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Fight the Fat Foodie said...

I really want to try this cooking method. Your chicken looks great!

The Duo Dishes said...

Breaking down a timely meal totally works. That's so true. We love to do a lot of pre-prep before making a big dinner. This sounds so flavorful.

Kathleen said...

I love how simple meals become when you do that kind of break down. This sounds amazing and your photos are really great! Nice to meet ya ;)

Spicie Foodie said...

What a fantastic recipe, I love Moroccan food! Your photos are also beautiful.

Nova Walsh: said...

Looks amazing! Anything with olives in it is wonderful - especially Moroccan food.

Bertuccis Discount said...

Nice dishes... i will love olives.. and will eat it more and more...
Thank you for the post..

meggieD said...

Hi. I read on Chowhound that you make this recipe in the slowcooker. Can you let me know how you adapted it? It looks really good, but I live in an apartment and am trying to find slowcooker recipes so I don't have to turn on the oven.


ladyberd said...

Meghan - I marinate the chicken according to the recipe and brown it in a pan on the stove, reserving the marinade. I transfer the browned chicken to the slow cooker and add the marinade, thyme and enough water to come about halfway up the chicken. I then cook it until the chicken's is super tender - about 30 minutes before it's done I add the lemon and olives.


meggieD said...

Thanks so much! I am going to try it this week.

jeri said...

This was fabulous and so easy to make, thank you! I am now going to prepare it in a slow cooker and was wondering, how long? and could I use chicken breasts as well?

Thanks for your reply!

Anonymous said...

Your recipe is straight from Basan's book. Exactly the same, word for word.

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