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Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Serves 8.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Moroccan Chicken Tagine

    Ingredients

    • 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)

    Nutrition

    Per serving:

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

    Directions

    01

    Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

    02

    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.

    03

    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.

    04

    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.

    05

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

    06

    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.

    07

    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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