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
I am taking this to Fiesta Friday #172 with Angie and our cohosts Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Su @ Su’s Healthy Living
I love Moroccan flavors which favor the spices used in Indian cooking like coriander and cumin. This is inspired by those flavors. Although I own a beautiful clay tagine bought from a friend who carried it from Morocco, I made this in a skillet – not sure why:). Equally delicious so the point is that you don’t need to own a Tagine to get the delicious flavors.
Chickpeas are easy to soak overnight and then cook in a pressure cooker for 10 mins. The pressure cooker is my best friend and I avoid the canned version but they can certainly be used here.
I roast my cinnamon, coriander seeds and cumin seeds and then grind them but the good store bought versions are just fine.
As I can’t get enough of eggplant this is another recipe that I go to over and over again. I have used clarified butter but Olive oil is used in the origins of this dish.
You can salt the eggplant for 20 mins and drain the juice before cooking. In season and fresh eggplants don’t need any salting.
The eggs with runny yolks on top makes this a complete meal. You can serve it over rice or couscous but I served it on the own and it was completely satisfying. Stays in the fridge really well and leftover ( if any) can be frozen without the eggs.
Egpplant Chickpea Tagine
- 2l arge eggplants (cubed)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 medium onion (large diced)
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1(8 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil or clarified butter
- Lemon juice
- salt and pepper
Putting it together
- Chop eggplants into 1 inch cubes.
- Coat a large deep-sided frypan with oil and heat over a medium heat.
- Add the minced garlic, onion, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. Stir well to coat evenly. Cook until the onions have softened and slightly brown
- Add the eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste and chickpeas. Add the vegetable stock.
- Simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for 20 minutes approx. The consistency should be thick with some sauce.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the sauce is ready, create 4 wells and break eggs into each.
- Put into a 350 degree oven for 5-10 mins until the eggs are done but yolks are still a bit runny.
- Squeeze some lemon juice, sprinkle with cilantro and serve over couscous, rice or by itself.
I am sharing this with Angie’s Fiesta Friday #107 where the co hosts are Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Su @ Su’s Healthy Living. Also sharing it at Mollies Throwback Thurday #26