Chicken Tagine (Moroccan Chicken)

Spicey and slightly sweet, the combo of apricots, raisins, lemons and olives is outstanding. The dish eventually makes its way into the oven for slow cooking in a Dutch Oven* but I started with all the ingredients on the stove top to brown the onions and garlic and let the ingredients mingle before adding the chicken.  Make lots since it’s great the next day.

Chicken Tagine

1/4 cup combined olive oil and butter (any combo you wish)
1 large onion
5 cloves garlic
8 apricots
1/4 cup raisins
8 green olives
1/2 lemon
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chile pepper flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric (poor-man’s saffron)
salt and pepper
2 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable stock (See how to make your own)
1 1/2 lbs chicken (I like tossing in a combo of legs, wings and breast meat.)

Set the oven to 350. Start melting the oil/butter in the pot on the stove top. Slice the onion and chop the garlic. Add it to the butter and let it brown. Add the fruit (I sliced in the apricots in half). Cut the lemon in half (use only half) and then slice the remaining half and add the slices. Add the olives, honey, ginger, spices and s&p.  Add the chicken broth. Let it simmer for about 5 mins, then add the chicken. (If you’re using breast meat, you might want to cut the pieces a bit smaller.) Place the lid on the Dutch Oven, stick it in the oven, and let it cook for about 40 minutes. Remove the lid (to allow the chicken to brown and the sauce to thicken) and cook for an additional 15 mins. After this, if the sauce is still a bit thinner than you’d like, then remove the chicken, place the pot with the chicken-free sauce on the stove top, turn to medium heat and let some of the moisture bubble off (ie. “reduce” it).

Serve with rice or quinoa, and a green such as swiss chard. You could also sprinkle some toasted pine nuts on top or even some unsweetened coconut.

Makes enough for 6.

*No Dutch Oven? No problem – create the sauce on the stove top in a pot and then pour it over the chicken and cook in a covered baking dish.

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