Tagine! It’s a way of life in Morocco and you’re going to love it! Chicken Tagine with Olives is the way to my heart and I made it so you don’t even need to own a tagine! (ya’ll know I wasn’t fitting one of those into my carry on for the trek home!)
Let’s start with the basics. Tagine, is a dish that originated in Northern Africa and has since made its way across Europe and beyond. It’s particularly popular for dinner parties because it feeds a crowd and it’s incredibly flavorful. At it’s core, a tagine is large chunks of stewed meat, tons of spices, preserved lemons and fresh herbs on top. It’s cooked in a vessel that’s also called a tagine. It’s basically an earthenware dish with a tight fitting, cone-shaped lid. During cooking, that lid catches the rising vapor and condensation and allows it to drip back over the ingredients making them extra juicy and flavorful.
Yours truly was NOT about to haul an authentic tagine back from Morocco, hello, carry on only for life. So I did it with the next best thing, a skillet and a lid. Duh. I also wasn’t going to call for preserved lemons in this dish because how many of us have preserved lemons on hand? I know I don’t! So… I gave it my Gaby spin and I actually think it’s 100% more delicious than the ones we had while in Morocco! Make it – you won’t be disappointed!
Chicken Tagine with Olives
For the Chicken
- 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads crushed
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6-8 bone in skin on chicken thighs
For the Tagine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium onions thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 16 green castelvetrano olives pitted and smashed
- 1 lemon peeled into thick slices (using a vegetable peeler to peel the lemon peel into thick 1 inch strips)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Mix garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric together with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Rub the chicken with mixture, cover, and refrigerate to marinate for 3 to 4 hours.
- Heat oil in heavy skillet. Add chicken, and brown on all sides. Remove to plate and set aside. Add onions to skillet, and cook over medium-low heat about 15 minutes, until they begin to caramelize. Add the ground cinnamon and stir to combine.
- Put chicken on onions. Scatter with olives and the lemon strips. Scatter over chicken. Mix stock and lemon juice. Pour over chicken.
- Cover the skillet and place over low heat, and cook about 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Scatter parsley on top, and serve.