This Chicken Tagine is packed full of the flavours of fresh green olives, preserved lemons, garlic, coriander, ginger and chickpeas. It works well for entertaining as all the prep can be done in advance with only some cous cous to worry about to serve. I remember, about ten years ago, everybody seemed to be making lamb tagine; it was everywhere, along with dried apricots! We couldn't often afford the lamb and all the boys rejected apricots so I bought a small book on tagines for inspiration and found a chicken recipe. I bought a tagine pot and started experimenting and the result is this version, which is now a firm family favourite.
Start the dish by getting the marinade ready.
Either grate the onion, garlic and ginger or place in a food processor. Add the juice and zest of a lemon, chopped coriander, chopped oregano, olive oil, saffron and seasoning.
I've used chicken thighs on the bone, which I have skinned. Leaving the skin on makes it too slimy for me and chicken breast is not as juicy.Cut some slashes into the meat to let the flavour in and spread the marinade over. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
Scrape off the marinade from the chicken and heat some oil in a frying pan. Brown the chicken in batches and add to the tagine. Some tagines can be used on the hob to fry first but mine is not that posh.
Scrape the marinade in the tagine and add some boiling water. Place in the oven at 180 degrees C for about 40 minutes. Use a lidded casserole if you don't have a tagine.
While the chicken tagine is cooking slice some preserved lemons. If you can't get hold of them finely cut a lemon into wedges and put in the tagine with the water.
Add the chickpeas, olives and preserved lemon to the chicken tagine and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. If olives aren't your thing then leave them out. I did for years until I realised how yummy they are.
Serve the tagine with bread, cous cous or rice with extra coriander sprinkled over.
- 8 skinned chicken thighs
- 1 tin of chickpeas drained
- 100 g green olives
- 2 preserved lemons
- oil for frying
- 400 ml boiling water
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
For the marinade
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 30 g ginger
- juice and zest of a lemon
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp chopped coriander
- 1 tbsp chopped oregano
- pinch of saffron
- Make the marinade by processing or grating the onion, ginger and garlic.
- Add the remaining marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken.
- Cover and refrigerate for ant least an hour or overnight.
- Heat oil in a frying pan, scrape the marinade from the chicken and brown on both sides.
- Transfer the chicken to a tagine or lidded dish, scrape over the marinade and pour over the water.
- Cook at 180 degrees C for 40 minutes.
- Slice the lemon and add to the chicken tagine with the chickpeas and olives.
- Return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
- Serve with the remaining coriander sprinkled over.