Chicken With Olives



A Morrocan Tagine which has become a Middle Eastern Staple in the likes of Israel. The sauce is tangy and fresh and it really is delicious. I managed to leave some in the pan so I can enjoy at another time. I was quite proud of myself.


1 large onion (diced)
1 kg chicken thighs (divided into 1/3s)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
3 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon preserved lemon or zest of 1/2 lemon (grated)
15 saffron threads (infused in 2 tablespoons boiling water)
2/3 cup green olives (pitted)
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 teaspoons cornflour mixed with a little water

Mix together the cinnamon, ginger, salt, pepper and turmeric and cover the chicken pieces. Leave for about 10-20 minutes.
Heat the butter/oil in a tagine or heavy casserole pan over a moderate heat. Add the chicken in batches and fry for about 4 minutes until browned on all sides, remove from the pan and set aside, repeat with all the chicken.
Add a little more oil to the pan if neccessary and then add the onions and fry for 3-4 minutes until soft and golden, add the garlic and continue frying for 1 minute. Add the parsley, preserved lemon, saffron (with soaking liquid) and the chicken and stir well. Pour in 2 cups water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook, covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, turn up the heat very slightly and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Tip in the olives and simmer for a further 5 minutes. If the sauce is too thin add a little cornflour/water to thicken.

We ate it with rice and flatbread

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