This is a dish normally cooked on the hob top or over an open fire as a seasoned tagine should be able to take such direct heat. If worried about your tagine cracking, simply place it in the oven. This is an absolute favourite among tagines not least for the simplicity of its preparation. Taught to make this in Marrakech, it requires little cooking while delivering wonderful results. Making it in a tagine, revealed through the steam as the lid is lifted adds even more joy.
Chicken thighs w/
preserved lemons & green olives
75g ghee or butter
40g fresh coriander, very finely chopped
1 medium red onion, very, very finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and very, very finely chopped
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 generous tsp ground cumin
1 fresh bay leaf
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp black pepper
10g fresh mint, very finely chopped
12 threads of saffron
30 pitted green olives
2 tbsp olive brine juice
3 small preserved lemons, roughly chopped
2 tbsp preserved lemon juice
3 tbsp acacia honey
2 tsp flaked sea salt
- Turn the oven to 170°C Fan.
- Scatter half the onion herbs, spices, olives, preserved lemon and little knobs of ghee into the bottom of a snug fitting casserole or tagine.
- Nestle the chicken thighs among all this and then scatter the remaining half on top. Sprinkle a little salt overall.
- Trail over the honey and then add enough water that it comes to the top of the chicken including preserved lemon juice and olive juice.
- Put the lid on.
- Cook the chicken for an hour and then remove the lid for another 15-20 mins and return to the oven that the sauce reduces a little.
- Serve with couscous and harissa.