This common North African dish is also served in southern Spain and Italy. Often it's made as a stew because the region's farm-raised chickens require long cooking to become tender. This version is quicker because chickens in American supermarkets are more tender. Lightly blanching the olives brings out the true flavor of the fruit by removing the briny overtones.
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Dash of ground red pepper
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup pitted green olives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups hot cooked couscous
How to Make It
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add chicken to pan; cook 10 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove chicken from pan; reduce heat to medium.
Add 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, onion, and the next 8 ingredients (onion through bay leaf); cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth; bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan, and reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Discard cinnamon and bay leaf.
While chicken cooks, place olives in a small saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; drain. Repeat procedure. Add olives and juice to chicken mixture; sprinkle with cilantro. Serve over couscous.
We try this recipe last night it was very good.When I read the comments some were very impress with the flavors and other though it was bland.The spices used are not common in North America cuisine and if you want the full benefit of the flavors you need to have spices that are not too old.Most spices loose their flavor after 1 year.
Made this with half a teaspoon of cinnamon instead of the cinnamon sticks. Used cayenne pepper straight onto the chicken at the beginning instead of red pepper . It's just amazing! Not sure what happened where this has been given anything less than 3.5 stars.The whole family loved
I've been making this dish for years, and it's one of my favorites. I use both thighs and a couple of chicken breasts for the white meat fans in my family. I typically use about 3/4 tsp of the spices listed, but I omit the turmeric and use powdered ginger rather than fresh. I don't cook the olives as directed because we like their tartness in the dish. I tend to just grab a bunch from the jar, and then coarsely chop them and throw them in the pan until I'm satisfied with the amount. I serve this over seasoned rice (add olive oil to the bottom of a rice cooker, add rice & water with salt, garlic & onion powder, stirring to mix before cooking). One of my favorite sides is carrots cooked with a little water, brown sugar added for sweetness and then a toss of kosher salt.
I absolutely LOVE this recipe and have made it many times. I don't bother blanching the olives because we like strong flavors. I use big fat Queen olives and add a dash of crushed red pepper. Great with couscous and steamed green beans.
This recipe was excellent. I made it as written, except I omitted the salt and didn't blanch the olives, which I figured would even out.
My daughter has made some tagines since visiting Morocco, and we have a Moroccon restaurant in the neighborhood. This recipe tasted authentic as far as my experience goes and I thought the flavors married well. At least it was what I was expecting.
I will print out the recipe and make it again.