Okay you guys; my Chicken Tagine is nothing like the one posted by “Cook”, so here goes…
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp tumeric (yellow colorant; if you have actual Saffron it would be better to use that and omit the tumeric.)
1 onion, chopped into small pieces
1-2 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of you chef’s knife
1 tomato, chopped into small pieces (the tomato is optional)
chopped up herbs… it is best to have about 1/4 -1/2 a ‘bunch’ of fresh cilantro and Italian parsley, chopped finely. However, if you prefer, you can substitute dried herbs at 1 tsp each, or you can completely omit the herbs, but I suggest you try to get a hold of some herbs.
1 whole chicken. You can either leave it whole (make sure you take the gizzards and such out of the cavity) or you can chop it into pieces. However, if you opt to chop it up, do not chop it into very small pieces. It should be no more than, perhaps, six pieces when you are done. You can either skin it or leave the skin on, according to your preference.
Potatoes; how many you use is subject to personal choice, but I usually will take eight medium potatoes and cut them into slivers. That is, I will peel them, cut them in half, and, depending upon the size of the halves, I will further cut them into 3 or 4 slivers per each 1/2 potato.
Heat the Olive oil up in a deep pot. When it is hot, put the chopped onions, smashed garlic and tomatoes in it and stir fry it for five to ten minutes over medium high heat. Add water if it seems that the mixture is too dry and liable to burn.
Add all of the spices and the chicken once you have fried the onions, garlic and tomatoes. Fry the chicken until it starts to turn white (apx 5-10 minutes)
Add a little bit of water, turn the heat down to medium low,cover the pot and allow the chicken to cook for a half an hour or so.
While you are waiting for the chicken to cook, peel and cut up the potatoes and chop the herbs. When the half hour of initial cooking (for the chicken) is over, add the potatoes and herbs and enough water that all of the potatoes are in full contact with water. Put the lid back on the pot and let it cook, at medium, for another half hour or so. Once the potatoes are tender your Tagine is ready, so you should turn it off and serve your dinner. If you leave the Tagine for too long after it is done cooking, the potatoes tend to absorb all of the sauce, so you will need to add more water and reheat until you see that the water has been transformed from mere water on top of the sauce into part and parcel of the sauce.
You may want to add green olives at the end, and, if you happen to have them on hand, it is a good idea to put the rind of 1 preserved lemon in the sauce in the final stages of cooking. If you do not know what a preserved lemon is, don’t worry; it’s not essential. However, do not make the mistake of assuming that the dried lemons of Gulf Cuisine are an adequate replacement; they are totally different things.