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Preserved Lemon Tagine Chicken

Preserved Lemon Tagine Chicken


4          cloves garlic, sliced

½         teaspoon saffron threads

½         teaspoon ground ginger

1 ½     teaspoon sweet paprika

½         teaspoon ground cumin

½         teaspoon turmeric

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1          chicken, cut into 10 pieces (breasts cut in half)

2          tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2          medium sweet onions, sliced thin

1          cinnamon stick

8          caper berries cut in quarters

2          small preserved lemons (flesh removed and skin cut into thin strips ¼” wide)

2          cups of chicken stock

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1          tablespoon of slices chives


Mix 1 T olive oil, ginger, paprika, cumin, turmeric, Kosher salt and black pepper together in a bowl large enough to hold the 10 pieces of chicken.  Using the mixture that you just created, rub each piece of chicken with the mix and reserve in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. 

Pre heat your oven to 375°, remove chicken from the refrigerator and heat a 3-4 quart stainless pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add remaining 1 T of olive oil and once hot, sear all piece of chicken slowly starting with the skin side down, turning each piece until a deep golden brown is achieved on all sides.  Do not put all pieces in at the same time, start with just enough chicken to cover the bottom of the cooking vessel.  Once desired color is achieved, pieces may be removed and reserved to make room for a new piece.

Once all of the chicken is seared, remove it from the vessel and reserve on the side.  While the pot is still hot, and leaving all of the fat in the vessel, add sliced garlic and brown it slightly and then reduce heat.  Add sliced onions and cover with a lid, sweating until soft and they start to caramelize, about 5-6 minutes.  At this point add the saffron threads and mix well  cooking for another 1-2 minutes then adding the chicken broth/stock.  Reduce slightly and add; caper berries, preserved lemon slices and seared chicken on top, skin side up.  Place the vessel, uncovered into the oven and let roast for about 40 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°.  Once the temperature is achieved, add sliced chives and mix gently.  This dish can be served with grains, cous cous or an egg pasta.