Recipe: Moroccan Tagine

Whilst in Morocco, I fell in love with tagine. Although the list of ingredients seems large, it is super quick to put together. As saffron is an expensive ingredient, turmeric can be used as an alternative- it doesn’t quite recreate the saffron flavour, but it will the colour. If you really want to make it easy however, replace all the dried spices with 2 tbsp of ras-el-hanout spice mix. Another great alternative to this recipe is also adding a tin of chopped tomatoes and half a tin of chickpeas, to provide a more comforting version.

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Ingredients (serves 2)
500g chicken (on the bone is best)
¼ fresh lemon
¼ preserved lemon
1 small onion
Fresh parsley
Fresh coriander
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp pepper
1tsp ginger
¼ tsp saffron powder
1 pscg saffron color
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cumin 
4 tbsp olive oil
1 cup of water
chilli (optional)
4 tbsp Olives
  1. Place the chicken in the dish (if you do not have  a tagine dish the alternatives are simple- a casserole dish (make sure to cover it with foil as it cooks) in the oven at 180OC, or a pan, or ideally a casserole dish, with a lid). Squeeze on the fresh lemon.
  2. Add the preserved lemon, remembering to remove the skin. Chop the onions, garlic, fresh parsley and coriander and add.
  3. Finally, add the spices and oil before cooking for ten minutes, on a medium heat.
  4. Add the cup of water and leave to cook for a further ten minutes.
  5. Reduce to a low heat and add the olives, chilli and skin on the preserved lemon, before cooking for a further 40 minutes.

Alternatives: if adding tomatoes and chickpeas, add for the last half an hour.

Vegan/Vegetarian Option: This dish works perfectly with a mix of sweet potatoes, aubergine, courgette,  pepper and chickpeas. Reduce cooking time to 30 minutes.

Fish alternative: switch ginger for paprika. Reduce cooking time accordingly.

Fast food: for those of you looking for the mega cheat version, Waitrose do a fairly yummy version here.

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