Moroccan flavors favor the spices used in Indian cooking like coriander, saffron and cumin. I love these aromatic spices and the heavenly aroma. I own a beautiful clay tagine bought from a friend who carried it from Morocco, It makes such a beautiful presentation and keeps the dish juicy and moist.
A tajine or tagine is a Maghrebi dish which is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The pot has a unique conical shape which helps make your dish moist by letting the steam rise, condense and trickle back down into the shallow base.
I used my tagine right on the burner but have experimented with putting it directly in the oven at 300 degree F. Of course then you can’t see the beautiful pot simmering on your stove 🙂
The spices are simple, ground coriander, cumin, cayenne and some ras-el-hanout if you have it.
Onions are a must in a tagine using them as a bed for the chicken. I have used organic chicken breasts here but bone-in chicken would be more moist.
If you don’t have the preserved lemons, you can skip them. The marinated olive gives this dish enough tanginess.
Tagine: Chicken and Zucchini
a beautiful spring inspired quinoa salad
- 3 organic free range chicken breasts ( or 6 chicken thighs)
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon crushed garlic
- 2 tsp fresh ground ginger
- ½ tsp saffron, bloomed in a little warm water
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground fennel
- 1 tsp ras-el-hanout
- 2 Green Zucchini cut in rounds
- 2 small preserved lemons
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro
- 5-7 Whole green olives in and couple of tablespoons of the juice
- Pink salt
- Marinate the chicken breasts for a couple of hours in 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp fennel powder, 1 tsp garlic and salt.
- Heat the tagine shallow bowl on low/medium heat.
- Add 2 tbsp oil and then the onions. Let the onions sweat for about 5 mins.
- Add the crushed garlic and ginger and then add the chicken breast and brown them 5 mins on each side.
- Add the remaining spices ( cumin, coriander, fennel, ras-el-hanout, saffron)
- Add Olives and olive juice, and coarsely chopped pulp of one preserved lemon and the rind of both, cut into slivers.
- Add cut zucchini
- It should be moist enough that no additional water is needed.
- Cover with the dome and let it cook at low for 1 hr.
- Serve sprinkled with parsley with a side of rice or bread
- This is perfect for a weekend dinner party