Sunday, December 16, 2007

Moroccan meals

While on a trip through Morocco I consumed approximately 10-15 tagine meals. They were very delicious (my favorite was always the chicken tagine made with olives and preserved lemon), but by the end of our time abroad I was ready to come home and have a boring peanut butter and jelly sandwich just for variety. We did bring back a number of Moroccan spices, so when the mood strikes, I can attempt to replicate this delicious local specialty.

Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Olives

several teaspons tagine spice purchased from outdoor market in Marrakech (probably contains paprika, cumin, ginger, tumeric, cinnamon, pepper)
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 lbs chicken pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
thinly sliced preserved lemon (available at Whole Foods)
1 cup green olives, pitted
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Pat chicken pieces dry and coat with spice mixture. Let chicken marinate for one hour or more. In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium high. Add chicken pieces and brown on both sides. Lower heat to medium-low and add garlic and onions. Cover and let cook until onions soften and start to caramelize. Add lemon, olives and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer then lower heat, cover and cook for another 30 minutes. Before serving, add fresh parsley and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with harissa and couscous made with almonds and raisins. And of course, no Moroccan meal is complete without a cup of steaming hot, freshly brewed mint tea.

Moroccan Mint Tea

10 fresh mint sprigs, plus 4 for garnish
3 teaspoons green tea
3 tablespoons sugar
4 cups water

Boil water. Pour a small amount in teapot and swish around to warm the pot. Combine the mint and green tea and sugar in the teapot, then fill it with the rest of the hot water. Let tea brew, stirring the leaves once or twice, for 3 minutes. Pour tea through a tea strainer into glass teacups to serve. Garnish with remianing 4 sprigs of mint.


Images taken from SimplyRecipes and Wikipedia

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