MOROCCAN CHICKEN TANGINE
with Preserved Lemon & Green Olives
This is a simple, but exotic dish from Yacout, Morocco. The flavorful, moist chicken can easily be lifted off the bones, and eaten, Moroccan-style, with the fingers. Amazingly there is no added fat in this dish. Seek out the preserved lemon in Middle Eastern or Specialty Food Stores.
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Large pinch saffron threads
Freshly ground black pepper
2 2lb. chickens, quartered OR 6 bone-in chicken breasts
2 medium, or one large Spanish onion, finely minced
8-10 ounces Moroccan green olives, cracked and pitted
1 preserved lemon or 1 cup preserved lemon slices, rinsed. Remove and discard all the flesh and pips from the lemons. If using whole lemon, cut into slices.
- Crush garlic on a cutting board with meat pounder or flat side of chef knife. Sprinkle with salt and finely chop garlic and crush again with pounder to a smooth paste. Combine the garlic paste, herbs and spices in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces, coating well with the mixture. Marinate one hour at room temperature or 4 hours in refrigerator.
- Place the chicken, with all the herbs and spices into a large heavy bottomed lidded casserole. Add the minced onions and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to gently simmer – covered – for 50-60 minutes. Stir occasionally. When chicken is tender and meat easily comes away from bones, add the olives and preserved lemons, (chopped fresh cilantro and/or parsley can be added now also) Cook, uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken, lemon slices and olives with a slotted spoon. Place the chicken on a warmed Tangine or large serving platter and cover to keep warm. Raise the heat and boil the sauce for 10 minutes to reduce to a very thick sauce.
- Arrange the pickled lemon slices and olives over the chicken and pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover the Tangine dish and serve immediately – very hot!
Excellent with couscous!