Moroccan Tagine of Preserved Lemons, Olives and Artichokes

My newly preserved lemons looks and taste wonderful.  This tagine is a great way to feature them!  A tagine is a delectable, slowly baked dish typical of Morocco.  If you don’t have fresh artichoke you can substitute canned- just be sure to drain and rinse before adding to the dish.

This recipe will serve 4 to 6 guests.

2 tbsp     butter
2 tbsp     olive oil
2 tsp       sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp    ground ginger
1/2 tsp    pepper
3 lbs       chicken, cut up (or 6 chicken drumsticks and 6 chicken thighs)
1             onion, finely diced
1 cup      chicken broth
8 threads saffron, toasted and crushed
10 sprigs fresh cilantro, tied with cotton string
20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, tied with cotton string
1 tbsp     fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp     preserved lemon pulp
2 cans    baby artichokes, drained and rinsed(or 12 fresh, trimmed or 6 medium artichokes, trimmed and boiled)
1 cup     pitted olives
Rind of 2 preserved lemons, cut into thin strips
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Pita bread for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil, paprika, ginger, pepper and chicken.  Cook, stirring to coat, for one to two minutes.  (Do not overcook or the spices will turn bitter).  Add the onion, broth, saffron, cilantro and parsley.  Cover tightly and bake until the chicken is tender, 50 to 60 minutes.

Remove from the oven.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the oven to keep warm.  Bring the sauce to a simmer on top of the stove.  Add the lemon juice, lemon pulp, olives and artichokes.  Stir gently until the artichokes are heated through, four to five minutes.  Gently stir the strips of lemon rind into the sauce.

Mound the reserved chicken in the centre of a serving platter and surround with the artichokes and olives.  Spoon the sauce over the dish.  Garnish with cilantro leaves.  Serve warm with the pita bread.

Wanna Play?
You could add raisins or dried apricots to the dish or roasted red peppers or tomatoes… so many possibilities!

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