I remember my travels in Morocco vividly. The beautiful colours, the winding alleyways and bustling markets, but most of all I remember how wonderful the food was.
I ate many dishes cooked in a tagine (earthenware pot) on my travels in this diverse country. At every bus break travelling between cities, this was the meal that was always available.
Local women would be busy chopping fresh tomatoes and herbs, blending them with spices and saffron to produce some unforgettable street side fare. Every tagine I ate in Morocco was cheap, served with warm bread and it always tasted fantastic.
I love how the aroma of food instantly transports you to another world. This is one of those meals for me because once you open the lid, all those flavours combined create a lovely smell that instantly creates happiness.
This dish is traditionally cooked in a tagine on top of the stove, and it can also be cooked in a heavy casserole dish in the oven.
- ½ kg chicken thighs
- ½ kg big chicken legs
- 2 tomatoes - 1 sliced, 1 roughly chopped
- 2 brown onions - 1 sliced, 1 roughly chopped
- 2 large potatoes - sliced
- 100g pitted green olives
- 1 bunch coriander- roughly chopped, using stalks too
- 250 ml OR 1 cup water
- 1 preserved lemon- remove pulp and use rind only. Rinse and cut into slivers.
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ preserved lemon- remove pulp and use rind only. Rinse and finely slice
- 2 brown onions- roughly chopped
- ½ small red chilli
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 3 tbsp chopped coriander
- 3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 3 bay leaves, torn in half
- large pinch saffron threads, soaked in a little water
- ½ cup of olive oil
- Combine all the chermoula marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined well.
- Place chicken pieces into a bowl and rub, using only half the marinade.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Combine the chopped tomato and onion with a little more marinade and spread over the base of a heavy casserole dish or pot. (this is to prevent chicken from burning on the base).
- Arrange the chicken pieces in the middle of the dish. Place the potato slices around the chicken. Top with the sliced onion, sliced tomato, and place olives into spaces.
- Combine remaining marinade with the chopped coriander and water and pour over the top. Place preserved lemon wedges around the dish.
- Place the lid on top of dish and cook in oven at 180°C for approximately 55 minutes.
- Don’t lift the lid or stir during cooking.
- Serve with couscous and some fresh crusty bread to soak up all that juicy flavour
- If you like it hot, add a little harissa on the side.