New recipe: Chicken, preserved lemon and green olive tagine
A fragrant light chicken tagine that's perfect for summer eating
I said I’d post some of my own recipes on Eat This Drink That that haven’t been published online before, kicking off with one of my favourites, this light, healthy chicken and preserved lemon tagine.
I like tagines at this time of year as they’re good for cooler nights but also a good make-ahead option for warmer ones - you can serve this lukewarm rather than hot.
I make it with skinless chicken thighs which makes the dish less fatty and generally serve it with a courgette couscous (see below)
900g-1kg skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets
3 tbsp olive oil
2 medium-sized onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
a good pinch of saffron threads
300ml/1 1/4 cups chicken or light vegetable stock
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 small preserved lemons
75g/2 1/2 oz pitted green olives marinated with herbs
A small bunch of coriander/cilantro with its stalks
1-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 rounded tsp rose harissa (Moroccan chilli paste)
You also need a medium to large cast iron casserole or lidded frying pan
Remove any excess fat from the chicken thighs and cut them in half.
Heat the oil in the casserole or frying pan, add the sliced onions and cook over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes until the onions have started to soften and collapse, adding the crushed garlic half way through.
Add the chicken thighs, mix well with the onions and continue to cook for about 10 minutes over a slow heat, stirring occasionally.
Put the saffron in a mortar or small bowl and crush with a pestle or wooden spoon. Pour over 2 tablespoons of the stock and leave for a few moments to infuse. Stir the saffron and grated ginger into the chicken.
Quarter the preserved lemons, scoop out the flesh and finely slice the peel. Halve the olives then add the olives and preserved lemon to the chicken. Pour in the remaining stock and mix well.
Thoroughly wash the coriander, cut off the stalks, tie them together with a piece of cotton or string and lay them in the casserole.
Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer until the chicken is cooked (about another 30 minutes, a bit less if you’re planning to reheat it)
Remove the coriander stalks and season the tagine with salt and lemon juice to taste
Put the harissa paste into a bowl, spoon off 4-5 tbsp of the stock from the tagine and mix with the harissa.
Roughly chop the coriander leaves stir into the tagine and serve with the harissa on the side for those who’d like a bit of extra heat.
I generally serve this, as in the picture above, with a courgette couscous which I make by making up the couscous following the instructions on the packet, then grating a couple of medium courgettes on a coarse grater, frying them quickly in a little butter and olive oil and then forking them through the couscous grains.
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