Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives

Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives

Though not my mother's original recipe, I recently served this dish for my brother's 21st birthday to my own table of ohhs and ahhs. It really is a crowd pleaser and not very difficult to make.

Adapted from Cover and Bake by Cook's Illustrated Magazine

Serves 4

1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 2 teaspoons sweet paprika salt and ground black pepper 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 3-4 pound organic chicken, skinned and cut into respective parts with the wings reserved for another use. (You can also do this with 8 skinless thighs or breasts) 1 large onion, halved and sliced thin 2 tablespoons of water 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 bay leaves 1 3/4 cups water 1/2 cup organic un-sulfured apricots, chopped 1 (2 inch) strip of lemon peel or 1/2 a preserved lemon, minced 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and pre-heat to 300 degrees. Combine the ginger, cumin, coriander, paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Dry the chicken pieces thoroughly with paper towels and add to the bowl with the spiced and toss to coat. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large oven-proof Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 3 of the chicken parts, skinned side down, and cook without moving them until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue to cook until the second side is golden, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining chicken parts to the pot and repeat, then transfer them to the plate and set aside.

Add the onion and 2 tablespoons of water to the pt with the drippings and return to medium-high heat. Cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pot, until the onion has softened and begins to brown, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bay leaves, water, apricots, lemon peel, and browned chicken with any accumulated juices; bring to a simmer. Cover, transfer to the oven, and cook until the chicken is easily pierced with a knife, about 1 1/4 hours.

Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and cover to keep warm. Add the lemon juice and olives to the sauce. Bring to a simmer and let the juice reduce by half. Add salt and pepper to taste then add the chicken back to the pot, and sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy!

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