Chicken Tagine with Green Olives and Preserved Meyer Lemon
Happy Friday to you! I have gone missing this week because we have been on a mission in New Orleans (that is codespeak for heavily eating and drinking our way through the city looking for interesting stories!). There will be several posts dedicated to this trip coming out over the course of the next few weeks or month, so be on the lookout. I cannot wait to share those stories and the photographs with you.
Sadly, we will be packing up shortly and driving home to dry out and go on a massive diet to head back to Atlanta, but I wanted to share this recipe with you for the weekend before we do that. (Do I have to go??) We are heading out of town before all of the total insanity of Mardi Gras begins, but I think we did plenty to contribute to the Mardi Gras spirit while we were in town. 😉
Do you remember all of those Meyer Lemons (how could you forget?)? I made two different recipes for Preserved Meyer Lemons with some of them and was excited to try them out in a dish before we went On the Road again.
I have another recipe I use for Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons, but as most women, I am never satisfied I wanted something a little unusual, so I decided to try this one from Tyler Florence! The directions and the ingredients were slightly different, so I was curious to see how it compared to my other recipe.
The “marinade” didn’t work precisely as it said it should, but this recipe was incredibly good and I would certainly make it again. I love all of the flavors in this dish and the spice rub (not marinade as it was called) was a nice addition to the chicken. I liked that the flavors infused into the chicken pieces and the skin was perfectly crispy when sauteed.
I prepared my dish in a round Le Creuset Braiser, but any large saute pan with a lid or tagine (that you can put on the stove) will work. I have given you the original recipe, but have noted my changes. I also served mine with a Couscous that has toasted pine nuts and golden raisins (rather than the recipe they had for couscous with apricots). I have included my recipe for the couscous.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and have a great weekend!
Chicken Tagine with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon
Adapted from Tyler Florence
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger (I used 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger)
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 large pinch saffron
1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) free-range chicken, cut into 10 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 preserved lemon ( used my own Preserved Meyer Lemons)
1/2 cup cracked green olives
1 cup chicken stock (I use Swanson's Organic)
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
1 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth (I use Swanson's Organic)
1 cup couscous
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup golden raisins
In a skillet over medium heat, toast the cinnamon, peppercorns, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, and cloves until they start to smoke. Remove from the heat and grind in a spice grinder.
In a bowl large enough to accommodate the chicken, add the oil, spice mix, garlic, ginger, cilantro, bay leaves and saffron. Mix to a paste. Add chicken, rubbing the marinade over all the pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. (This was definitely a paste and there was no liquid).
Remove the chicken from the marinade and reserve marinade. (You will need to actually scrape the paste off the chicken and then reserve that mixture. I left a thin coating on the chicken so that it would brown nicely and sear those flavors into the skin). Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper (I took a paper towel and did this very lightly so that the mixture was not wiped off of the chicken pieces).
In a tagine or large casserole over medium high heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Put in chicken pieces and lightly brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until just starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Rinse preserved lemon well. Scoop out flesh and discard; cut peel into strips and add to pan. Add reserved marinade, olives, and chicken stock. Cover tightly and cook over medium low heat for 30 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove bay leaf and discard. Taste juices and adjust seasoning. Place chicken on a warm platter. Spoon juices with the preserved lemon, olives, and onions over chicken and serve accompanied by couscous. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro.
Put the couscous in a medium bowl; pour the hot stock over it and stir to combine. Cover and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Add the pine nuts and golden raisins; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.