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Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Serves 8.


    Moroccan Chicken Tagine

    Traditional tagine recipes suggest marinating chicken with spices for several hours or overnight. This tagine recipe contains all the delicious elements but has been revised and prepared in half the time. Donít let the lengthy list of delicious spices alarm you. All combined, it makes for an excellent tagine suited to any gathering.


    Clarified butter

    Make clarified butter by melting butter in a small saucepan over low heat, and skimming the foam from its surface as the foam rises. Then strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth, being careful to leave solids in the bottom of the saucepan. Cool and store in a jar in the refrigerator. It can be refrigerated for up to three months or frozen for six months.

    Fresh is best

    Commercial saffron can easily taste stale or musty when it’s not fresh. Authentic fresh saffron is best purchased from a Persian or Middle Eastern grocery shop where it has a higher turnover rate.


    Moroccan Chicken Tagine


    • 8 bone-in organic chicken thighs, skinned
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) clarified butter or extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra if needed
    • 1 large Vidalia onion, diced
    • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 in (2.5 cm) fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
    • 3/4 cup (180 mL) low-sodium chicken stock
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) whole black peppercorns
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) crushed red chili flakes
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) saffron threads, crushed
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) sweet paprika
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric
    • 1 lemon, cut into eighths
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) whole pitted green olives, such as Manzanilla or Sicilian
    • 1 - 14 oz (398 mL) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    • 2 firm, ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) golden seedless raisins or pitted prunes
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh mint
    • Brown rice (optional)
    • Plain yogurt (optional)


    Per serving:

    • calories289
    • protein23g
    • fat11g
      • saturated fat2g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates28g
      • sugars11g
      • fibre4g
    • sodium173mg



    Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).


    Heat oil in large, deep Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid. Season chicken with salt and pepper and lightly brown a couple of pieces of chicken at a time in hot oil. Transfer to plate.


    Add diced onion, garlic, and ginger to oil remaining in pan. Sauteu0301 until soft and onion is almost clear. Add a little more oil if needed. Stir in stock and bring to a boil, scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and set aside.


    Combine peppercorns and cumin seeds in small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Toast over medium heat until they begin to smoke. This will take about a minute. Transfer to small spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Grind to a fine powder and transfer to small bowl.


    Add chili flakes, saffron, paprika, and turmeric. Stir together and sprinkle over chicken, turning chicken several times with tongs to evenly disperse spices.


    Tuck seasoned chicken into Dutch oven. Add lemon wedges, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick. Cover tightly and bake in centre of preheated oven for 45 minutes.


    Scatter with olives, chickpeas, tomatoes, and raisins, and return to oven. Continue to bake, covered, for 10 more minutes or until piping hot. Remove cinnamon stick. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro and mint, and serve over steamed brown rice with dollops of plain yogurt.



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    B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.