Laura’s Authentic Moroccan Chicken Tangine (Tanjine; )طجين

I love meeting new people and trying new foods, so I was especially delighted last Wednesday our kids (Dan and Brianna) invited us over to meet Kirsten and Stevie, a newly married couple at their church. They grew up in North Africa and were bringing over something I’d never heard of: Moroccan Chicken Tangine.  Actually, I’d never even heard the term “tangine” before, but I’ve learned via Wikipedia that it’s a round, clay pot with a conical lid designed to return all the condensation back into whatever delectable dish is being slow-cooked inside.  Now, you don’t really need to own a tanjine to make delicious stews. Any large skillet or pot with a lid, a crock pot, or an instant pot will work!  Kirsten’s meal was so savory that I asked for the recipe, which she told me her mother had learned many years ago from a Moroccan neighbor (whose name we don’t know, so I’m naming it for Kirsten’s mom). Here it is, and thanks, Kirsten and Laura!

Laura’s Savory Moroccan Chicken Tangine
(Serves 6-8)

First: Sauté 8 large pieces of chicken (breast and/or thigh quarters) in 1/3 cup olive oil with 4 large, chopped onions. Cook until the onions have caramelized and the chicken is starting to brown. Cover the chicken with water until it’s completely covered and even a little more. Then add:
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste (or 1/2 chopped tomato)
1 teaspoon tumeric (to make it yellow; Kirsten didn’t use any because she didn’t have any; she says it doesn’t effect the taste but gives it a brighter color)   Simmer for two hours, covered, on low heat, checking/stirring just often enough to make sure nothing sticks on the bottom. Serve piping hot in bowls and use pita bread (or any good home made, flat bread…Kirsten made hers from a Betty Crocker recipe) to soak up the broth. Kirsten said that when she was growing up in Morocco, people ate it without utensils, even using bread to pull the chicken off the bones. I guess if you’re good at it, you don’t even get your fingers dirty, although I used a spoon and fork. 🙂

Stevie is still in school, so they’re not rolling in dough (rich) at this point, but Kirsten said there are many variations. Some of the common options include:

*Several large carrots cut into two-inch lengths and quartered
*1/2 cup of sliced green olives
* minced clove of garlic

For a sweet version:
Place in a separate pot:
1/2 cup of broth
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
package of dried apricots   Simmer all these ingredients until the apricots are tender, and then add this mix back into the tangine with the meat and onions and continue cooking (to complete the two hours). Another popular variation is using lamb with dried prunes.   After studying this morning, I discovered that American recipes often call for boneless and/or skinless chicken, but that’s not authentic! Also, I saw photos of tangine prepared with broccoli and served with toasted almonds and cilantro, which looked attractive, although I don’t know if that’s authentic either! Apparently it is common (and authentic) to serve it with couscous in some countries. At any rate, Kirsten’s was memorable and delicious…and even little Samuel loved it (after he tried it; he wasn’t too sure at first)! If you try it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures, hear below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen.”
(A common Christian blessing and doxology, written by Thomas Ken, 1674)

 

 

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