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Chicken, Preserved Lemon & Prune Tagine

     
Chicken, Preserved Lemon & Prune Tagine

Chicken, Preserved Lemon & Prune Tagine

The tagine is one of Morocco’s most well-known dishes. It’s a great way to do a slow cooked meal that is moist, flavoursome and you don’t necessarily need a tagine dish and open fire to achieve success! This recipe uses the hero of many Moroccan dishes – the preserved lemon.

Serves 6

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 medium red onions, chopped
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger
6 Tegel Chicken Thighs, bone in, skin on or off
salt and pepper
1 preserved lemon – flesh & pith removed – chopped
1 ½ cups (approx.) chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup pitted prunes
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish

METHOD:

Heat the oil in a heavy based casserole dish or saucepan (that has a lid preferably). Add the onions and spices and cook until fragrant, then add the chicken, toss to coat in the spices and cook until beginning to brown on one side. Season with salt and pepper. Add the preserved lemon, stock and honey. Give everything a good stir then put the lid on (or cover tightly with foil) and simmer on a low heat for about1 ½ hours or until the meat falls away from the bones. I check it after one hour and add more stock or water, if it looks like it needs it, and the prunes at this stage. Replace the lid and continue to cook. (Alternatively this dish can be cooked in the oven at 170 C for 1½ hours).

Before serving, baste the chicken well with the juices and taste to see if it needs more salt or pepper to season. Garnish with a handful of chopped coriander and serve with bread to mop up the juices.

Preserved Lemons

6 lemons – washed

½ cup coarse sea salt

½ teaspoon black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

¼ cup lemon juice

Wash jars and dry in an oven heated to 120 C to sterilise.

Scrub the lemons to remove any wax on the skin and rinse in cold water. Cut into quarters. Pack the lemons into the jar(s), layering with salt. Scatter with peppercorns, add the bay leaf and top up jar with lemon juice. Pour in enough boiling water to almost fill the jar. Seal the jar and store in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks, turning upside down occasionally to mix the salt and juices.

Ready to use after 3 weeks, will store for up to 4 months or longer. Discard flesh and pith and use the softened skin.

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