10 February 2012

{friendship} february: a tastey tagine

Hello there!
How has your week been? Life can be so busy, can't it? But for a few moments take a seat & put your feet up & enjoy a wee chat with my friend Annabella who not only sews beautiful things but also cooks delicious food..
Thank you to Karen for letting me loose on her blog today as part of her {friendship} february series. I`m Annabella and I blog over here normally. For the last 10 years, I have lived in Marrakech, Morocco which is at the far North West of Africa.  Things get pretty laid back here.
If you are creatively inclined, it is a wonderful place to spend some time. The light is incredible, it is crazy colourful and vibrant and if you love photography or quilting there is inspiration wherever you look. I love both!

Now it`s no secret that I love my food and it`s a pleasure to be living somewhere where food and mealtimes are so important. Mealtimes, particularly lunch, remain a time when the family usually gathers. While a working lunch in the city is becoming increasingly the norm, shops shut, tools are downed and offices close while many people head home to eat with their families. So I have a super simple but tasty and authentically Moroccan dish, which I would love you to try. It`s great for cold winter days. My mother in law has taught me a few Moroccan dishes and she has given them the thumbs up, so I hope you like this one too. It`s one of the most famous Moroccan dishes and can be cooked in a tagine (a conical pot) or if you don`t have one - then put it in an oven dish with a cover.
Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives
Serves 4
For the Chemoula Marinade
1 tbsp. of flat leaf parsley
4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 tspn. of ground ginger
1 half tspn. of cinnamon powder
1 tspn. of ground cumin
1 tspn. of paprika
salt and pepper
A couple of pinches of saffron soaked in a couple of tablespoons of water  for half an hour*optional*

For the Tagine
Large chicken  (jointed or 2 breasts and 2 legs or 4 breasts)
1 medium grated onion
2 large tomatoes (peeled and quartered)
2 medium potatoes (peeled and sliced)
2 - 3 tbsp. olive oil
A handful of green olives 
Half a preserved lemon

Place the parsley and garlic in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped or if you fancy flexing your muscles, do as my mother in law would do and give it a good bashing with a pestle and mortar. 
Place the parsley mixture in a large bowl and add the marinade spices, the saffron water (if using otherwise a couple of tablespoons of water) and a tbsp. of olive oil. Mix well. 
Place your chicken pieces in the bowl, roll up your sleeves and rub the spicy paste all over the chicken. I would advise wearing plastic gloves unless you want orange hands! Put the chicken, half a cup of water and grated onion on the base of your tagine or oven dish.
Take your preserved lemon and remove the flesh.  Slice the rind.  It should look like this. (If you like a particularly lemony taste (I do but Mr LRP doesn`t), you can simply slice it leaving the flesh in.) 
Arrange the sliced potatoes on top of the chicken mixture and place the tomatoes in the centre. Sprinkle the lemon slices on top. Pour a good glug of olive oil over the potatoes. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Don`t add too much salt as the olives and lemon are already salty.
Cover with the tagine lid or if you are using a baking dish, some aluminum foil.

Leave to simmer on a low heat on the cooker top or if you are using an oven dish, place in the oven at 180 C or 355 F with a lid, or cover with aluminium foil. Now go and put your feet up.

After 20 minutes, you should have more liquid as the tomatoes cook. Push a couple of the potato slices aside and baste the potatoes and tomatoes with the liquid. Push the lemon slices down into the cooking liquid. Put the slices back.

After another 20 minutes, add the olives.  Use as many or as little as you like.  There are no rules. Leave for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked!  The sauce should have reduced and thickened.

Moroccans would eat this with bread and side salads.  If you fancy adding other vegetables then that`s fine. You can add any vegetable you like - sliced carrots, peas, whatever takes your fancy.
Bon Apetite!

Thanks so much Annabella - that's tea sorted out for the Hamilton household tonight!! Isn't it lovely how friendships just make life a whole lot better (& tastier!!) 

Hope you all have a great weekend
PS Don't forget you still have a couple more days to enter the giveaway for Catherine's earrings. To see the details of the giveaway, just click here
If you are having trouble commenting, do please drop me a wee line as Blogger seems to be playing up a bit at the moment. Good luck!


  1. That dish sound so wonderful, I may have to give it a try.

  2. Yummy food and exotic photos. A bit different to the snow here! Di xo

  3. oh, I'm drooling now. That dish looks fantastic, thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh that sounds good. Thanks both.

  5. Oooh, that looks yummy! Annabella, you made my tummy rumble again damn you lol

  6. Sounds great Annabella. Any chance you will come here and cook it for me?

  7. Sounds delicious, will bookmark this one to cook in the cooler weather. I love lemony dishes

  8. What a pretty blog, and nice idea having recipes from around the world!

  9. I love cooking tagine, but I've never put lemons in it. Will have a go next time (if by any chance I can find preserved lemons here!

  10. First time I remember getting a recipe from Annabella - usually it is endless inspiration from her marvellous sewing and fabulous photos! Love her blog and her too!

  11. Think I might have to make this next weekend.

  12. yum - thanks for the fabulous looking recipe Annabella - I'll be making that very soon - just need to find some preserved lemons !