lemon & olive chicken, redux (chicken no. 8)

You know how the best meals are sometimes the ones you throw together from what you have lying around, and then they’re impossible to recreate?

I made a chicken along those lines a few days ago. But I photographed the whole thing in the hopes of launching it out there into the world. For seriously the best Moroccan chicken that has ever emerged from my little kitchen, read on.

Best Chicken Yet with Lemons and Olives

You will need:

3-4 chicken drumsticks (I know this is totally cheating because the meat is so tasty, but my excuse is that I have a small tagine and these are the only pieces that fit)
2 onions, sliced thinly
1 tomato, cut into slices
Large handful of green olives
1 preserved lemon, cut into large slices
Salt, pepper, cumin, ginger, paprika, yellow food coloring (you laugh but it makes a difference)
Olive oil

First warm up a generous amount of olive oil in your tagine (when I use mine over a gas burner I use a metal diffuser). Add the onions, cover, and let them stew for several minutes.

Next add pretty much everything else: tomatoes first, then half the olives and lemon, then the chicken, then the spices (a generous dusting of each. The important thing is that the spices look nice. If they don’t you need more…see the first photo in this post). Cover and let it cook, stirring things up periodically (every 20-30 minutes; most important thing is to flip the chicken so it gets cooked through) until it’s done. The meat will be falling off the bone. 5-10 minutes before it’s done throw in the rest of the lemon and olives.

I added absolutely no water to this: the tomatoes really help add some liquid and the juices from the chicken will take care of the rest. In fact I had to crack the lid and even drain some of the liquid because the cooking process generated so much (delicious) broth.

Eat with flatbread (preferably freshly baked by your co-chef…).

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