Thursday, 17 October 2013

Morrocan chicken and preserved lemon tagine

I think that I was North African in my previous life, if there is such a thing I suppose. I love the North African flavours in cooking, because they really fuse well together. There is an element of color in this method of cuisine, and I guess that is the catalyst for such fusion flavors. Cooking this tagine was a form of escapism as I gently carried myself to Fez, Agadir and Marrakesh- absorbing the vibrancy of its people and the emporium of its food.

Moroccan Chicken and preserved lemon tagine

Prep time: 20min   Cook time: 2 hours   Serves: 8

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 chicken pieces (free-range)
  • 1 butternut, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 3 red chilles, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 sprig of curry leaf
  • 1.8kg tomatoes (fresh) chopped in quarters
  • 1 small tin tomotoe paste/puree
  • 4 preserved lemons (Melissa's)
  • handful coriander finely chopped

In a large casserole pot, heat the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper before adding to the pot.Cook the chicken until golden brown, approx 8 min, do not over cook and add more olive oil if necessary. Remove the chicken from the pot. 

In a bowl add the butternut and cinnamon. Toss through until all butternut is coated.Add the butternut to the pan and cook for 8 min until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Add the onions, chili, cumin and curry leaves to the pot. Fry off for 5min until the onions are brownish. Season. Return the chicken and butternut to the pan , along with the tomatoes and tomatoe puree. Cover with  lid, turn the heat down and simmer for 25min, topping up with hot water of it looks too dry.

Stir through the preserved lemon and coriander. Cook for a further 1hr15min on a low heat.

Serve with couscous or tabbouleh.

Enjoy xx

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