The final day of The Inspiration Challenge – Tagine Chicken

Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the final recipe in The Inspiration Challenge – which was for me to share with you 30 Recipes in 30 Days – during the month of November.

As I prepare to share with you the final recipe in the challenge (which I think is the most exciting of the lot!), I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has followed along for the past 30 days and encouraged me during this journey. November has been a record-breaking month for this blog – with more people visiting then I ever could have imagined! Incredible!

However, November has not been a dull month for me by any stretch of the imagination and, I honestly admit, that posting these 30 recipes has been a massive challenge. But the journey has taken me, and hopefully you, on a great journey – we have visited Italy with dishes including yummy mussel pasta, lamb ragu, pollo alla caciatora, marinara sauce and the most popular recipe on the whole blog for the month, I am very proud to say – was Matt’s meatlovers pasta . It has even been replicated and credited on other blogs too! Well done Matt!

We have also been to many other parts of the globe for flavour inspiration including India with chicken madras and Tandoori chicken risotto. There’s also been some great tips on how to brew your own stock make the best roast lamb and make perfectly crispy roast potatoes .

However, I know the most touching thing for me is my mum’s constant commentary on how proud she is that I have taken this blog on a journey of my teenage years, when I used to cook most of my family’s dinners. I have written about how watching my mum cook growing up has inspired me and I have shared with you some of the recipes she used to make including beautiful, yet simple sweet pastries, called Matchsticks, leek and potato soup, baked potatoes – Darwin style and baked barramundi.

While it has been fun going down memory lane – today I wanted to bring you a recipe that has excited me sooo much. It’s called Tagine Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives. You can check out how to make your own preserved lemon here – or you can buy it from any good gourmet food shop.

I have been wanting to buy a tagine – which is a Moroccan cooking utensil – for ages now. I finally got one a few weekends ago and it was only $15!! Make sure you buy just a plain terracotta one, and not a decorative one – as these are not meant for cooking.

It is important to prepare your tagine before you use it. I soaked mine in the sink overnight (the base and the lid) and then I put it on the cooktop, over a very low heat and filled it with water, salt and a few bay leaves. I brought it to the boil (which took ages!!) – and then tipped out the water. This is the process of “seasoning” the tagine – like you do with a wok. If you use your tagine regularly, you probably don’t need to soak or season it again. However, if you only use it every few months, I think it would be worth doing this before you use it each time – it helps prevent cracking when the tagine comes into contact with heat.

It’s also very important to cook anything in the tagine under a very low heat – it’s not designed for frying, but slow cooking.

Now that I have given you some tips about your tagine (you can find a lot more advice on the web too, if you Google it) – onto the recipe. This is the second most popular dish in Morocco, behind cous cous. I was inspired to make it after watching Food Safari – all I could think about after watching the episode about Moroccan food was that I had to go out and get a tagine!! Check out more of the recipes from this episode here.

I found with this recipe that I had to cook it for double the amount of time then then suggested 45 minutes – that the 1 cup of liquid should be about half a cup, as the tagine overflowed!! I also think it needs a little less preserved lemon for the finishing garnish. It’s a very tart flavour – but I think with a little less, it would have been perfect!

I really hope you give it a try!!!

Tagine Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives

Chermoula Marinade

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • ½ birds eye chilli
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, stems and leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in a little water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves, torn in half

Other ingredients

  •  1 whole chicken, size 10 or 12
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 150g pitted green olives
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 preserved lemon, cut into 6 segments.

Method:

Marinade
Process all ingredients together in a food processor until finely chopped and thoroughly combined. Leave for 30 minutes before using. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to seven days.

Wash and dry the chicken and remove backbone, wing tips and any excess fat. Cut into pieces. Rub all over with ½ of the chermoula marinade and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.

Combine the tomato and onion with a little more chermoula and spread into the base of the tajine (this will prevent the chicken from burning on the bottom).Arrange chicken pieces in the centre of the tajine on top of tomato mixture. Coat potato wedges with chermoula and arrange around chicken. Top with onion slices, then tomato slices and olives in between the potato wedges.

Mix chopped coriander with remaining chermoula and water. Pour over mixture. Decorate top with preserved lemon wedges.

Cover tajine with lid and cook on a very low gas heat for 45 minutes. Do not stir or lift the lid during the cooking process.

Serve with couscous.

As mentioned earlier – I needed to cook my tagine longer, and when I make it again, I will be reducing the amount of liquid and preserved lemon. However, this is the original recipe and you can modify as I have advised if you like.

Despite that – this tagine recipe was sooo delicious. I really enjoyed it – it was something quite different to things I have made before – which is exactly what had me so excited to try it in the first place!

I really hope you run out and buy a tagine, if you don’t already have one, and give this a try. I can’t wait to use mine again and try out heaps more Moroccan recipes!

While this is the end of The Challenge – it’s by no means the end of Uforic Food. In fact, it’s just the beginning! I have so many great ideas for future posts – so many more recipes and an idea to get you more involved as well. So stay tuned!

Thanks again for all your support and encouragement – I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. I would really love it if you could share your thoughts on The Inspiration Challenge with me in the comments section below. What was your favourite recipe? Did you try any?

I know you have all been a bit bombarded with my foodie ramblings for the past month, so I’m going to give it a rest for a least the next couple of days.

So, until next time.

Be Inspired~

Lisa

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About Lisa Mary Foreman @ Uforic Food

I'm the creator Uforic Food - a blog compiled by three journalists whose talents lie in telling fabulous food stories. I'm on a journey to prove you can be healthy and passionate about food at the same time. Ruza lives in the city and is all about sharing her urban food experiences. Laura is the domestic goddess of the group and loves all things food, family and from the heart. Join us at the Uforic Food table where we share recipes, reviews, and all things food. If you'd like to get in touch, email me at lisamary@uforicfood.com

Posted on November 30, 2010, in casseroles, chicken, Cooking techniques, Recipes, winter warmers and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. You have excelled yourself again, the dish sounds delisious…. I cant wait for you to cook it for me LOL. I have to say I didnt think you would get through the whole month, You have so much on your plate at the moment……. I am very proud of all the work you have put into this blog….. Congratulations munchkin
    Love you heaps XXXXXXX

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