I decided to do the classic tagine of chicken with lemons and olives. I have learned that my tagine is not huge. It's best for serving no more than four. I've also learned not to add too much liquid to the dish as it bubbles over very quickly! Here is the recipe from the book.
Tagine of chicken with lemons and olives
3 onions peeled and sliced
4 chicken Marylands (Legs & thighs - cut them apart)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 preserved lemons, quartered and rinsed (you can make your own)
1 cup green or black olives (I used mixed!)
1/4 cup chopped coriander or parsley. (I used coriander as I love it!)
Place the onions at the bottom of the tagine or casserole. Arange the chicken portions on the bed of onions. Drizzle with olive oil and dust with spices. Pour over stock and season with salt and pepper.
Cover the pan and bring the liquid to the boil then turn down and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, turning the chicken pieces once or twice until the chicken is cooked and the liquid is very much reduced. Cooking can also be done in the oven.
Add the preserved lemons, olives and coriander to the sauce 10 minutes before serving.
Here is the tagine layerd up and starting the cooking process. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the finished dish. Just believe me when I say it was delicious!
To accompany the chicken tagine, I made Seven vegetables with cous cous. I used my flat cast iron dish. It's perfect for this type of cooking.
The vegetables I used were:
I had a small piece of lamb backstrap which I browned first. I wanted to add a little extra depth of flavour to the vegetables. After browning, I simply threw in the chopped veggies. (not too small), added a little chicken stock and the following spices: ground ginger, ras el hanout, a few strands of saffron, salt & black pepper. I popped the lid on the pot and baked the vegetables in the oven once I'd got them steaming on the top of the stove first. To serve I made cous cous. I used 2 cups of cous cous to 4 cups of boiling water with a couple of stock cubes thrown in. (I have to tell you, that this quantity of cous cous is more then you'll need for four people! We've been eating left over cous cous for a week!) Spoon the cous cous into a big serving dish and then add the vegetables to the top of the cous cous.
For dessert I made Baklava. It's strictly not Moroccan but it has that Middle Eastern sweetness that is a perfect foil for the meal above. I've not made it before as it always seemed too fiddly. There is a little cafe' in Colac that sells lovely Lebanese and Turkish desserts and I've bought some from them before. They are delicious, but expensive. I decided that I'd make them myself. I googled (what would we do without it!) a recipe and made a big slab of the stuff. It was easy. Not tooooo fiddly. And oh so sweet! Here is the recipe.
And to finish this blog post I'm going to pop in a few pics that we took at the Spice Market in Istanbul last year. I'd go back there in a heart beat. The smells and colours are just amazing!
Have a good week!