Moroccan Berber-style Chicken Tagine
After an incredible birthday celebration in Marrakech last weekend, I developed a love affair with the taste-sensation that is tagine. Such a delicious and nutritious way to include copious amounts of veggies, animal-based protein (can be created meat-free) and a decent dose of healthy fats into one perfect meal! Not to mention the flavours are so unique that they transport me back to Morocco every time I open my kitchen cupboard and smell the aromas of a tagine spice mix we found. Are you ready for a super simple Moroccan delight?
It is with love and gratitude that I share with you some of the most giving souls we had the pleasure of meeting during our time in Marrakech. We stayed in the luxurious, yet well-priced Alena Riad run by Claudie and Franck (http://www.alena-riad.com). I cannot express enough how helpful they were; they truly made our Moroccan experience better than anything I had dreamt. We mentioned to Claudie that we were hooked on tagine and wanted to learn how to make this local treasure. She promptly arranged a cooking class for us the next day and we were taught the tricks of the trade for a traditional Berber tagine by the lovely chef Layla, who provides the meals at Alena Riad. Here is what we did:
Traditional Berber-style Chicken Tagine
[Paleo, Grain free, Gluten free, Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, No Refined Sugars]
2 potatoes (or sweet potato)
1/2 cup green beans
1/2 cup fresh peas
1 whole chicken cleaned and cut into portions (can include bones or have bones removed)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ginger finely grated
1 tsp lemon rind finely grated
5 saffron threads (or 1 tsp saffron powder)
1 bunch parsley finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
Pinch salt and pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock
Handful green olives
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Slice onion and layer over the base of the tagine pot.
Peel and slice carrots, potato, turnip and zucchini into strips.
Cut beans in half.
Layer half of the carrot, potato, turnip, beans and zucchini in a circular pattern over the onion.
Layer chicken in the middle, then cover with the left over veggies and peas.
Add the garlic, ginger, lemon rind, saffron, parsley, pepper and salt.
Drizzle olive oil and chicken stock over the whole recipe.
Place slices of tomato in a circular pattern over the top, then add olives around the perimeter.
Place a lid on the tagine pot, fill the top compartment with a small amount of water and pop it into the oven.
Cook slowly until chicken is cooked through, approximately 1 hour, depending on the tagine pot you use.
Remove from the oven and cool before serving - enjoy the delicious flavours!
Servings: 6 people
This recipe can be cooked in a slow-cooker or cast-iron pot in the oven if you don't have access to a tagine pot.