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Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons

Posted May 28 2009 12:23am

The most fabulous meals are shared with friends. Last week I made a Moroccan style chicken tagine with preserved lemon to share with our friends Gary and Keiko visiting us from Japan.

I served it with swiss chard sauteed with raisins and chickpeas, roasted butternut squash seasoned with cumin, a brown rice blend, and an salad of arugula and sliced daikon. For dessert we had gluten free brownies, raspberry sorbet and soy whipped cream.

Although I've made some changes to this, the basic recipe is from a promotional issue of Cuisine at home that I got in the mail about a year ago. I've adjusted the original recipe by replacing the lemons with more authentic preserved lemons, substituting boneless skinless chicken thighs, doubling the spices, and omitting the chickpeas.

Don't be intimidated by the number of ingredients. This is an easy recipe that comes together quickly.

2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 cup canned tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon honey
1 preserved lemon, cut into 8 wedges

Combine the paprika, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Rub half of the spice mixture over the chicken thighs, and let stand for 5 minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Saute the chicken thighs until well browned on both side. Remove chicken and set aside.

Pour off excess drippings, leaving 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add onion and saute until translucent. Then add the grated ginger, garlic and remaining spice mixture. Cook until spices are fragrant.

Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of white wine and the tomato paste. Simmer until the liquid evaporates.

Add the canned tomatoes, squashing the tomatoes into small pieces with your hand. Then add the broth, olives, honey, and preserved lemon. Stir to combine. Tuck the chicken into the liquid, cover and simmer on medium-low until chicken is cooked and sauce is reduced.

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