Moroccan Feast Part 1: Chicken Tagine – Chopped to Perfection (With a few added tears)

We have a friend coming round for dinner tomorrow and I am going to attempt to cook a Moroccan feast. Working hours restrict me to go all out tomorrow night so I am going to do some prep tonight. Trust me though, this is an easy dish; it just takes a couple of hours to get your chicken uber tender and falling off the bone. We made this dish for the first time actually in Morocco. Well, I say made; we chopped. The hotel had cooking classes as one of the excursions and we imagined that we would be cooking outside against a sunset background, within some open air grass topped gazebo and sipping chilled crisp wine; but that was not the case. Instead we were in the hot basement kitchen of the hotel, where environmental health officers were clearly not an issue (note the dangling earrings in the photo).  The experience was entirely taken up with chopping, and what we chopped consisted of 90% onions. The glamour of cooking outside was therefore replaced by lots of tears and Halloween style make up. Now don’t get me wrong it was actually great fun, but for a cooking experience I felt very restrained and was only able to watch the ‘instructor’ get his hands dirty.


All be it, the food we helped prepare was AWSOME and it is a recipe I will continue to cook again and again. See below for my recipe of Moroccan Chicken Tagine, tomorrow I shall post the extras and sides for the dish;

This will feed 2 people on its own or 3 with side dishes;

The best dish to use for this is a Le Creuset or similar. It simply needs to be oven proof with a lid.

–          I am using 2 chicken thighs, 2 chicken drumstick and 2 wings as I have these left over from a chicken I filleted, but you can use the equivalent of any sort of chicken leg meat. If you’re a big meat eater then feel free to chuck more in.

–          3 crushed garlic cloves

–          Thumb size piece of ginger – crushed

–          1 chilli – finally chopped

–          1/3 Lemon very finally chopped (including the rind)

–          Rest of the Juice from the left over lemon

–          Large handful of coriander

–          1 ½ tea spoon turmeric

–          Good pinch of saffron (I know this is expensive so feel free to give it a try without, I just know it is lush with it)

–          Seasoning

–          1 chopped onion

–          2 sliced carrots

–          1 chopped celery stick

–          400ml good chicken stock

Mix the garlic, ginger, chilli, lemon, coriander, turmeric and saffron in a bowl

Stab the chicken a few times with a sharp knife and cover it in the marinade. Cover and leave for at least an hour (I am leaving mine over night to save me time tomorrow)

Turn oven to 160’C

Fry your onion with a good glug of oil for a few minutes and then add the carrots and celery.

Add the chicken and fry until it starts to golden.

Poor in the stock, cover and put in the oven for 1.5 to 2 hours. I prefer mine cooking for 2 hours but if you can’t wait that long it will be ready to eat sooner.

Season to taste and serve with Moroccan couscous (which will be the topic of tomorrow’s blog along with hummus and flat breads)

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