Chicken Tajine with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon

This dish, which is particularly enjoyed in Marrakech, celebrates two of Morocco’s most famous ingredients – green olives and preserved lemons.

YOU WILL NEED

  • 8 chicken thighs, with skin on and bone in or a whole chicken cut into portions
  • 2 preserved lemons
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup (125 ml) roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 t (10 ml) Ina Paarman's Seasoned Sea Salt
  • 3 T (45 ml) olive oil
  • 1 t (5 ml) black pepper
  • 2 t (10 ml) ground ginger
  • 2 t (10 ml) turmeric
  • 2 t (10 ml) ground cumin
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 T (15 ml) Ina Paarman's Chicken Flavour Stock Powder
  • 1½ cups (375 ml) hot water
  • 1 cup (100 g) green olives, pipped
  • 2 T (30 ml) Ina Paarman’s Coriander Pesto
Method

Slash through the thickest part of the thighs right down to the bone, with a sharp knife. Scrape out the pulp of the preserved lemons and put it into a biggish mixing bowl. Shred the lemon skin into julienne strips and keep on one side for later. To the lemon pulp add crushed garlic, chopped coriander and parsley, Seasoned Sea Salt, olive oil, black pepper and spices. Mix together and spread this paste all over both sides of the chicken portions. Put chicken back into mixing bowl and cover. Refrigerate overnight or marinate at room temperature for at least an hour.

Place the chicken, with the onion and all the marinade ingredients into a heavy based saucepan or tajine and sauté until beginning to brown, to develop the spice flavours.

Dissolve the Stock Powder in the water and add to the chicken. Cover with a lid. Simmer slowly for 1¼ hours, turning the chicken two or three times during the cooking time. Lightly crush the green olives with a meat mallet in a plastic bag. Stir in the olives and Coriander Pesto. Sprinkle the preserved lemon strips over the dish. Boil fast for 5-10 minutes without a lid, to reduce liquid to a thickish sauce. Taste for seasoning. Serve with couscous.

Ina's Tip

Use a heat diffuser on your gas or electric stove plate if cooking in a pottery tajine. The leftovers are delicious a day or two later. Chicken Tajine will freeze well for up to three weeks.

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