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Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Meal Type Main Dish

 

Ingredients

    For tagine

    • 1 Whole chicken ((about 3 1/2 pound))
    • 2 tablespoons Unflavored or Harissa Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
    • 3 Large Shallots (finely chopped (1 cup))
    • 1 tablespoon Unsalted butter
    • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
    • 1 tablespoon Ginger (grated and peeled)
    • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
    • 1/4 teaspoon Sweet paprika
    • pinch Saffron threads
    • 1 cup Water
    • 2 tablespoons Blood-orange preserves or bitter-orange marmalade
    • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon Balsamic
    • 1 sprig Thyme
    • 2 sprigs Cilantro
    • 6 Dried apricots (chopped)
    • 1 tablespoon Cilantro or flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
    • 1/4 cup Spiced pine nuts ((recipe included))

    For spiced pine nuts

    • 1 tablespoon Harissa EVOO
    • 1/4 cup Pine nuts
    • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
    • 1/4 heaped tablespoon Sweet paprika
    • pinch Cayenne ((optional))

    Note

    Add Cinnamon Balsamic or Harissa EVOO

     

    Directions

    Step 1
    Cut out and reserve wings and backbone from chicken. Cut breast in half through bone, then cut off legs and cut to separate into thighs and drumsticks (for a total of 6 serving pieces, not including wings and backbone). Pat chicken pieces dry and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt.


    Step 2
    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then brown chicken breasts, skin sides down, without turning, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Brown thighs and legs, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes, transferring to plate. Brown wings and backbone in same manner.


    Step 3
    Cook shallots in butter with remaining tablespoon oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring frequently, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, and paprika and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.


    Step 4
    Add chicken with any juices from plate, saffron (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon salt to shallot mixture and turn chicken to coat. Add water and bring to a boil, covered, then cook at a bare simmer, covered, 30 minutes.


    Step 5
    Turn chicken and add orange preserves, cinnamon stick, thyme, cilantro sprigs, and apricots. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer until chicken is very tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Brown pine nuts while chicken cooks

     

    Step 6

    Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then stir in pine nuts, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until nuts are lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes (watch carefully; they burn easily). Transfer to a small bowl.

    To serve

    Step 7
    Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm, covered. If sauce is not thick, boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1 cup. Discard herb sprigs, cinnamon stick, wings, and backbone. Stir in chopped cilantro and spoon sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Garnish with preserved lemons or fresh lemon wedges.

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