For the depth and flavor of an authentic tagine in about one hour, we developed a Moroccan chicken recipe that followed our standard braised chicken procedure: browning the skin-on pieces to give the braising liquid deep flavor; removing th...
- 1 1/4teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1/2teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3strips lemon zest, (each about 2 inches by 3/4 inch)
- 3tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 to 2 lemons
- 5medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 5 teaspoons)
- 1whole chicken, (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces (4 breast pieces, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks; wings reserved for another use) and trimmed of excess fat
- 1tablespoon olive oil
- 1large onion, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 3 cups)
- 1 3/4cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1tablespoon honey
- 2medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick coins, very large pieces cut into half-moons (about 2 cups)
- 1cup Greek cracked green olives, pitted and halved
- 2tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1. Combine spices in small bowl and set aside. Mince 1 strip lemon zest; combine with 1 teaspoon minced garlic and mince together until reduced to fine paste; set aside.
2. Season both sides of chicken pieces liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke. Brown chicken pieces skin side down in single layer until deep golden, about 5 minutes; using tongs, turn chicken pieces and brown on second side, about 4 minutes more. Transfer chicken to large plate; when cool enough to handle, peel off skin and discard. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot.
3. Add onion and 2 remaining lemon zest strips to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have browned at edges but still retain shape, 5 to 7 minutes (add 1 tablespoon water if pan gets too dark). Add remaining 4 teaspoons garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spices and cook, stirring constantly, until darkened and very fragrant, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in broth and honey, scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add thighs and drumsticks, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add carrots and breast pieces (with any accumulated juices) to pot, arranging breast pieces in single layer on top of carrots. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Transfer chicken to plate or bowl and tent with foil. Add olives to pot; increase heat to medium-high and simmer until liquid has thickened slightly and carrots are tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Return chicken to pot and add garlic-zest mixture, cilantro, and lemon juice; stir to combine and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
TO MAKE AHEAD: The recipe can be prepared through step 4, cooled, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. To serve, gently warm until the chicken is heated through, then proceed with the recipe from step 5.