Tuesday, June 2, 2015

International Cooking Challenge - Morroco: Chicken Tagine with Lemons, Moroccan Mint Tea

For our Moroccan meal, I decided to make a stewed chicken "tagine," though I do not have a tagine itself.  I used a large Dutch oven, and that worked out well.

I also made Moroccan mint tea, which was a hit all around.

I invited my mother over for dinner, and she was able to join us.  She has been to Morocco, so I was excited to share our meal with her.

While we ate, we listened to some traditional Moroccan music.  I showed the kids where Morocco is on the globe.  My mom visited Morocco when she and my father were in Portugal and Spain.

Chicken Tagine with Lemons
(Modified from Saveur)

1 chicken, cut into parts (I bought mine already cut up)
5 Tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric

4 yellow onions
1 tsp saffron threads, crushed
1 c water
2 lemons, sliced thinly
1 Tbsp olive tapenade (or fresh olives)
1/2 c coarsely chopped cilantro

Marinading chicken

Chop garlic coarsely and combine with cumin, paprika, and tumeric.  Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and make a paste.  Rub over the surface of the chicken and put into a large bowl or baking dish.  Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4-8 hours.
Stewing onions with saffron
Remove chicken from the fridge, and heat remaining oil in a large dutch oven or a tagine.  Brown chicken on both sides and remove to a plate.  Chop onions into small wedges (10-12 per onion), then cook them over medium high heat in the same pan that the chicken was browned in, stirring to coat them with the spiced olive oil.  Add the saffron and cook until softened, stirring occasionally.

Put chicken back into the pan with the onions.  Add the water and lemon slices, then cover and cook on medium heat until the chicken is cooked through (about 30-40 minutes).  Stir in the olive tapenade and cilantro before serving over rice or couscous.

Reflections in tea

Moroccan Mint Tea
(modified from Saveur)

6-8 plain green tea bags
5 c water
1/3 c sugar
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

Boil water and add sugar, stirring until well dissolved.  Add the tea bags and mint and allow to steep for at least 10 minutes before straining and serving.  This is a sweet tea, typical of Morocco.

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