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I’m Moroccan. I use this basic recipe but I add a can of Rotel tomatoes. It makes it juicier. I also frequently cut up a yam and add it. For Shabbat, I put clean eggs on top as you would for a chamin (cholent). You can also make this recipe using fish instead of chicken. Use a firm fish. I use tilapia.
I “fell in luv” with Mediterranean cooking when traveling thoughout Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. Later, when placed on a lo-sodium diet, I learned to appreciate the spices associated with Mediterranean cuisine which does not rely on salt and MSG. However, I found the clay based tagine too “cumbersome/labor intensive” to use. I, fortunately, discovered that LeCresuet (sp?) and Emile Henry cookware manufacture tagines that can be placed directly on a cooktop. The cooking process is similar (with what I call the funnel top) and the ease of the cookware use outweighs the care clay cookware requires.
1) confession – haven’t cooked your version
2) thanks for reminder that oven can perform more tagine-like slow, even braise
3) thanks for dry rub tip which I’ll build into my version
4) agreed re preserved lemons as special to dish – suggestion: since you suggest authentic preserved lemons…try building in authentic ras el hanout spice blend – available in same shops/websites
Easy, simple to follow !
And of course came out awesome … I had it with fries and used Moroccan bread to absorb all the gravy …
Can you add a tin of tomatoes? Or would it spoil the recipe authenticity?
If not using preserved lemons, would you add the lemon juice?
Hi Mixy, I would not add tomatoes to this recipe. If you don’t have preserved lemons, just use some thin slices of regular lemons. You’ll probably need to add more salt.
Thanks for your reply!
Bye bye tomatoes so!
When you say “thin slices of regular lemons”, I guess you mean the slices of the lemon peel? Not the whole lemon?
Hi Mixy, either just the peel or with the flesh, it depends on how much lemon flavor you want. BTW, you could try thinly slicing some lemon, tossing it all with salt and letting it sit for an hour or two (or day or two) before cooking the dish (rinse off the salt before adding). I haven’t tried doing this, but I think it might work better than just plain lemon slices. The preserved lemon is such a wonderful flavor, that anything that gets you closer to it is worth a try in my opinion.
Just cooked it with lemon peel. It was amazing. Thanks for the recipe and the guidance
Next time, I will try to find preserved lemons! I am sold with the idea!
One final question: if you have cumin seeds as opposed to ground cumin. Would you grind it or throw the seeds into the pan?
HI Mixy, I would grind the cumin. If you want to take it a lovely step further, toast the cumin lightly (until very fragrant) first, then grind.
i have a glazed pot. do i still need to soak over night? the only instructions it came with is that it didnt need to be seasoned. ive searched for info, not much luck. thank you.
Hi Samantha, if it’s completely glazed all over, and the instructions say you don’t need to season it, then I assume you don’t.
thanks so much for the reply.
This is amazing! I served it with cauliflower rice cooked with raisins and slivered almonds. Great recipe! Delicious!
This was amazing, thanks for the instructions.
I just purchased a tagine and am looking forward to cooking this recipe. My question is, will I need a diffuser every time I use my tagine?
Hi Linell, yes, I’m pretty sure you will need to use a diffuser every time, as well as soaking the tagine in water before hand.
I made this over the weekend. My tag is small so I used 3 thighs and your recipe is terrific even reduced in portion! I am going to share it in my blog this friday! Thank you!
I used 1.5 T of Frontier Tagine Seasoning along with the same amount of paprika and a pinch of cayenne, instead of the other spices. It came out delicious! The lemo, olives, and dried fruit make it. My husband is picky, and loved it!
I would heartily recommend anyone who is serious about Moroccan cooking preserve their own lemons. The process is very easy and ingredient light, and trust me there is no bitterness, in fact the reverse, they are very sweet.
As for the pulp, I would use!! The lemons I preserve are in fresh squeezed lemon juice and the pulp takes on a wonderful salty sweetness after full desiccation.
I found this recipe while looking for one I saw Jamie Oliver make on TV. Since so many recipes here have served me well over the years, I thought I’d try. I made a few changes – cut the turmeric in half and added a pinch of saffron, added some fennel seeds, and used dates instead of raisins (never been a fan of raisins). It was delicious and so yummy!
I made my own preserved lemons from the recipe here, and did rinse them, but didn’t remove all the pulp. My boyfriend found it a bit too sour, so next time I’ll be sure to use just the skin.
I actually used a tagine we bought in IKEA – it’s got a nonstick bottom, but the traditional ceramic cone lid. It browns the meat well and the lid is heavy enough to keep all the steam in. I’ve actually used the bottom for other things as well.
My husband and I just had this tonight (made last night). I didn’t even use the right olives (canned green), raisins (brown) and lemon (regular, not preserved) and it was still utterly delicious and so authentic. We had this over couscous which caught all the yummy sauce. I think the spices really did it. The chicken was so tender and juicy, it was falling off the bone. I used a Le Creuset dutch oven instead of the questionable tagine I bought over in Morocco. Dinner made us reminisce about that trip many years ago and all the delicious food we had there. Thanks for this amazing recipe! I will definitely be making it again (with more authentic ingredients next time). I read another poster’s comment about how in Morocco they do not include dried fruit with olives. Thinking back, I seem to remember this was the case, but I think the addition of raisins adds a nice, subtle sweetness to the dish. I have also used raisins and olives with chicken in an excellent empanada recipe from Gourmet magazine but that’s entirely different.
We have tried this and it is delicious. Thank you for this recipe.
Looks great! So glad you liked it Arjay. ~Elise
I love this recipe. I decided to make preserved lemons just so I could make this recipe after I saw it on your website. I made two jars of preseved lemons with the meyer lemons from my Aunt’s tree in Berkeley, CA. I have been using them in all kinds of cooking. I have made this recipe twice, each time with small additions that worked out great. The first time I added artichoke hearts- yummy. The second time I made it (last night) I added a couple squeezes of fresh orange and fresh lemon juice to the sauce and a small handfull of slivered almonds- delicious. My whole family loves this one, it will be a new staple in our house. And I love the variations that can be created.
Do you need a heat diffuser if using a ceramic top electric stove top?
Great question, I don’t know. Possibly. Though I don’t know if you can use a heat diffuser with a ceramic top. You might want to consult your users manual regarding what kinds of cooking pots you can use on that surface (I know that certain cast iron pans can be problematic on ceramic stove tops). You might just want to put the tagine in the oven. ~Elise
oh elise! im so excited that you have updated this and pulled it back up again! this is one of my top three recipes form your site that i have ever made, if not my number one. i have a half gallon of preserved lemons i made a while ago, and this is mainly what i use them for. i can get chicken legs from a local farm for .69 cents per pound if i buy 10 or more, so we make this a lot. its to die for.
curious- i just got myself a bram to play with and have been having amazing results baking my mediterranean and north african dishes. ive been thinking of investing in a tangine for a while, but frankly this dish is the only thing i would probably use it for and i dont know if i can justify the square footage in the kitchen for one meal. i wonder if it would work in the bram? maybe i should experiment. regardless, you really should get yourself some of these things! they are cheap and everything ive put in them has turned out wonderfully!
Hi Amanda, it sounds like a worthy experiment. If you try it in your bram please let us know how it turns out for you! ~Elise
I have admired tagines for a long time but hate to add yet one more large item to my cabinet. Did it make much difference? It sounds like flavors might be more intense, with less water.
Does it work to use Meyer Lemons for the preserved lemons?
I think using the tagine makes a big difference. My mother swears by her Romanoff clay baker, same concept. As for the Meyer lemons, those are the only lemons we use for making preserved lemons, as we have so many growing on our trees. They are more mild and the rind is less bitter. ~Elise
Hi Elise, Thanks for offering such a an interesting recipe. I have never tried anything like this before, but love to cook, and it looked great. After reading all the positive reviews, I could hardly wait to make this recipe.
I did use fresh organic lemon slices, but everything else was by the recipe, and I was so dissappointed in the end result. I thought the recipe was just okay, and I will definately not be making this again. The spices were all fresh but were masked by the rest of the ingredients.
Glad there were so many positve comments regarding this recipe, wish mine could have been one of them.