Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon & Peas


I received a ceramic tagine for my birthday recently and decided to give it a go with this recipe. It was amazing. If you can bear the aromas that permeate every inch of the house for the two hours its cooking then I urge you to give this one a go. This should serve four (I say should, but we were pretty hungry that night and pretty much managed to eat it between the two of us).


1kg skinless chicken thighs (on or off the bone) cut into halves.
2 large onions (chopped)
2 heaped tablespoons preserved lemons (flesh discarded, skin chopped)
2 tablespoons fresh coriander (chopped)
2 tablespoons fresh continental parsley (chopped)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups frozen garden peas
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
salt & pepper

In a food processor or with a hand blender blend into a smooth paste the onion, lemons, fresh coriander, parsley, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and garlic.
Heat a large lidded pan or tagine with the olive oil over a medium heat. Fry the onion paste for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly until it browns slightly. Add the chicken to this and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Now pour over the chicken stock, stir well and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, pop on a lid, and cook for 1 1/2 hours until the chicken is very tender. Add the peas, stir well, add a generous grinding of salt & pepper and cook for a further 20 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

This is delicious with cous cous or rice or bread or even mashed potato. If you have a tagine, serve by brining to the table and with your best flourish, remove the lid to a chorus of gasps from your onlooking guests. There may even be tears.

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