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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Moroccan Chicken

Preserved lemons.  Have you ever had them?  We both clearly remember the first time.  We were in Chicago and went to a Moroccan restaurant up by Clark St.  We were on the way to see The Blue Man Group.  We looked at each other and said, "WHAT was THAT???"  It was love at first bite. 

Once we got home, we set about making a batch for ourselves.  That batch got used up and we never got around to making more.  Until the kids gave me a tagine for Christmas.  David did a fabulous job of researching the models available and found the Flame model by Emile Henry to be the most versatile.  It's good with any heat source.  I've used it in the oven and on the stove top.  Our first dish was Moroccan Lamb Stew.  Which, hopefully, someday I'll get on the blog...  Our second was Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives. 

Someplace I saw the recipe.  Some cookbook or magazine or someplace.  If the stack of recipes to be scanned in and tried wasn't a foot tall I'd have gone through it.  But, hitting Epicurious was far easier.  And, the recipe sounded almost exactly like the one I'd seen. 

I expected the dish to take a long time so had planned on making it on Sunday evening when there was ample time to cook and drink a glass of wine and chatter away with Connie.  Then, in about ten minutes everything came together and all I had to do was put the lid on the tagine and let everything simmer for about 15 minutes and we were done.

So, what did we think?  This will be a regular for us.  I managed to stretch four chicken thighs into five meals.  I added a can of chickpeas to the couscous to up the texture and nutrition.  The only change I might have made would have been to add a bit of crumbled feta cheese.  Kate, a fellow food blogger from Northern Indiana loves feta and blogged about all of her feta recipes in the last Secret Recipe Club posting.  I've got to say I concur and will be heading to her blog to try a few.  Here's the link to her SRC post: Avocado Feta Salsa.

We served this with Melissa's Carrots and Roasted Cauliflower.

Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives


4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry, salted
2 T olive oil, divided
1 large onion, sliced 1/4" thick
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 t cumin
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 preserved lemon, rinsed and diced
1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 c dry white wine
16 pitted green olives, halved
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 c couscous, uncooked
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
1/2 t cumin


In a dutch oven or tagine on the stovetop, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil.  When it is shimmering, add the chicken thighs. 

Saute about three minutes per side until they're nicely browned.  Remove the chicken thighs from the pan.

Add the other tablespooon of oil and the onions, garlic and cumin. 

Saute until the onions are translucent.  That will take 8-10 minutes. 

Add the pepper, preserved lemon, chicken broth, white wine and olives. 

Cover and simmer for about twelve minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

When you start simmering the chicken, put a cup of water in a medium saucepan and bring it to boiling.  Add the couscous and the garbanzo beans.  Stir well, cover the saucepan and remove it from the heat. 

Serve the chicken over the couscous with the sauce ladled over the top.

adapted from Epicurious.  Originally from Gourmet


Kate@Diethood said...

I used to live in Lincoln Park, right near that restaurant... I am pretty sure that's the only Moroccan restaurant around there. Great food!!

I add feta to every.thing. Plain chicken? Add feta. Munching on grapes? Grab some feta. ;-D

Debra Eliotseats said...

Sounds delicious. I have always wanted to make preserved lemons. (I used to have a jar from W-S setting on the cabinet "for decorations" that I ended up throwing away after five years! I think it is time to revisit this! :)