If you’re ever in the need of a little bit of sunshine — whether it’s because the day is rainy or maybe because it’s just a little chillier than you’d like — this is a wonderfully warming dish.  A tagine is a Moroccan casserole – the word refers to the dish it’s cooked in but, if you don’t have one, you can cook it in a Dutch oven.  The bright flavors of preserved lemons and green olives are warmed by cinnamon and cumin – it’s summer in a bowl, I tell ya!

And, what’s more, it’s one of those dishes that doesn’t require a lot of heavy lifting – a very little chopping here, a little browning there, pop it in the oven and, voila, dinner!  Serve it with a steaming bowl of couscous and you have an easy, yummy dinner!

Chicken, Lemon and Green Olive Tagine

  • olive oil
  • 6-8 chicken thighs, skinned
  • 2 onions, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3″ piece of ginger, peeled and microplaned
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ diagonals
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 heaping tsp harissa paste
  • 6 preserved lemons, quartered with the inside scraped out, leaving only the peel
  • 1/3 cup green olives (somewere around 12-15 olives)
  • handful cilantro, roughly chopped for garnish

Preheat oven to 325.  If you’re using a tagine or casserole dish that can’t go on top of the stove, then use a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high flame to heat a drizzle of olive oil and brown the chicken thighs a couple of minutes on either side, then set them aside in the casserole dish.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook the onions until soft, then add the carrots, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and turmeric, stirring to cook for a minute or two until fragrant.  Pour in the stock and harissa paste, raise the heat and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat.  Roughly chop the lemon peel and scatter them and the olives over the chicken before pouring the onion and carrot mixture over everything.  Cover and cook for an hour.