An email from one of our subscribers, is interested in hearing more about Tagines, and the preservation of seasonal vegetables and fruits when they are plentiful. So hopefully this will provide some answers and culinary inspiration.

A tagine or tajine is the name of a cooking pot, traditionally a glazed earthenware dish with a tall conical lid used to both cook and serve food. It is also the name of the dish cooked in it, the deeply aromatic Moroccan flavoured stews of chicken, lamb, vegetable or beef. Scientifically, the slow cooking in a sealed unit, rather than the actual clay, is the key to the tajines silky soft texture and moisture.

Chicken Tagine Recipe
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1 whole free-range chicken, cut onto 8 pieces each or a mixture of your favorite free-range chicken pieces, such as thighs or breasts, meat on the bone if possible lightly dusted with seasoned flour
oil and butter for frying
3 cups of chicken stock and/or white wine
1 large or 2 or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 4 cm cubes
½ cup each of: halved green olives and sliced preserved lemons (find the recipe for preserved lemons here)
chopped fresh coriander, cous cous and green beans to serve
Aromatics and Spices:
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon each of ground: pepper, salt, ginger, saffron, cinnamon, clove
1 1/2 teaspoons each of ground: cumin, coriander, and turmeric

Sauté the chicken, a few pieces at a time in oil, then set aside as they color.
In the same pan cook the onion and garlic then add all the aromatics and spices. Stir and cook gently for a minute or two before adding the stock/wine and returning the chicken pieces, adding sweet potato and bring up to a simmer again.

Cover well and cook on a low flame on the stovetop or a low oven temperature for 1-½ -2 hours. Check the liquid occasionally and add extra if required but allow reducing and thickening a little before serving.
Add olives and preserved lemons a half an hour before serving and adjust salt and pepper if required. Serve with chopped coriander, couscous, and green beans.

Notes: This recipe can be made in your tagine. Please ensure you soak your tagine in water for 24hours before use. Alternatively, if you dont have access to one, it can be made in an oven proof casserole dish with a lid.

 

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