Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon, Green Olives and Thyme

Serves 4

8-10 chicken thighs or 4 whole legs
1T olive oil with a pat of butter
2 preserved lemons, cut into strips
6 oz cracked green olives
1-2t dried thyme or oregano, or 1-2T fresh thyme or oregano

For marinade:

1 grated onion
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
small bunch finely chopped cilantro
small pinch saffron
freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
1t coarse sea salt
3-4T olive oil
sea salt and ground pepper

In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Put the chicken thighs or legs in a shallow dish and coat them in the marinade, rubbing it into the skin. Cover and chill in the refrigerator 1-2 hours.

Heat the olive oil with the butter in a tagine or heavy based casserole dish. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and brown them in the oil. Pour over the marinade that is left in the dish and add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the chicken pieces. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for about 45 minutes, turning the chicken from time to time.

Add the preserved lemon, olives, and half the thyme to the tagine. Cover again and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes. Check the seasoning and sprinkle the rest of the thyme over the top. Serve immediately from the tagine.

Unedited from a sweet little book, Tagine, by Ghillie Basan.

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