Oh yes, Moroccan food. In a tagine I picked up in Marrakech for like $5, never mind how much they cost here. This is a Berber tagine, so it’s plain clay with that dip in the top. You can make this dish in a dutch oven, but if you are using a tagine, use a heat diffuser underneath and soak it (only before first use) in water overnight so it doesn’t crack.
First off, you need preserved lemons. To make these, you cut holes in lemons, stuff them with kosher salt, stick them in a jar with more kosher salt and lemon juice, and let them marinate in the fridge for a month. Worth it, I promise. Meyer lemons are even better.
2 chicken thighs
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne or white pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger powder
4 T olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped into strips
1/2 cup green olives, pitted and chopped in halves
1 preserved lemon, flesh removed, cut into strips
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
fresh cilantro for garnish
Combine dry spices with 2 T olive oil in a Ziploc bag, add chicken (skin removed) and let marinade overnight or for a few hours at least.
Put tagine with diffuser (or dutch oven) on stove on medium heat. Soak lemon and olives in water to cut salt content. Add remaining oil and onion to tagine. Cook until soft. Add garlic, cook until fragrant. Add chicken, browning on both sides for a few minutes.Add water or broth to chicken, along with apricots, olives, and lemon, and let cook over medium heat, lid on for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove lid. Cook until sauce becomes thick, sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve with cous cous and/or French fries. (I’m not kidding, it’s often served with fries.)
This recipe is a little tricky at first and has some unfamiliar ingredients, but I promise it’s delicious and easy to make the next time through. And you WILL want to make it again. Enjoy!