I’ve noticed them around but always thought tagines lived into the oven. So after extensive googling and googling I discovered that stove top cooking is the method that works best for this unique shaped earthenware pot which has its origins planted firmly in North Africa.
Used for cooking or serving, you’ll see that the tagine pot has a distinctively shaped triangular shape which is formed entirely of a heavy clay, sometimes elaborately painted or glazed and each one uniquely beautiful.
The traditional Moroccan inspired vessel is a brilliant pot for slow-cooking savory stews and vegetable dishes, as the cone-shaped lid traps steam as it cooks and delivers condensed and concentrated liquid back into the pot. That’s why you only need to add a small amount of liquid when cooking. It creates a deliciously tender meat or vegetable and its unsophisticated design makes it straightforward to use.
If you’re planning on using a tagine for the first time you’ll need to season it. Instructions for seasoning you’ll find here.
When cooking with a tagine bear in mind these three simple instructions…The 3 C’s…and you won’t stray far off the path.
- Combine ingredients
- Cover with lid
- Cook over low heat until tender
This weekend a good friend of mine and fellow blogger Kim travelled down to my house in Kangaroo Valley with her trusted tagine in hand which she had been experimenting with and had recounted a story about how she had cooked a beautiful spicy fish dish which was quite simply out-of-this-world. She picked up the pot from Aldi supermarket for $30. I want one.
It was my first foray into using a tagine pot and I felt like a bit of a cone-head for my lack of knowledge. It became clear that my mission if I chose to accept it was to create a beginner’s dish that was simple and easy to make yet still aromatic and flavoursome for a newcomer. Enter Tagine class 101. .
This no bells and whistles, chicken, green olive and preserved lemon dish doesn’t have a whole lot going on ingredient-wise but it is fragrant, fresh and simply delicious and the perfect dish for busy families. I am now a tagine convert and want to experiment further with new flavours and ingredients.
If you don't own a tagine, a good replacement is a heavy cooking pot with a snug fitting lid or even a slow cooker. Be sure to improvise with your own spices such as saffron, ginger, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, coriander, and cardamom.
Live life and spice it up!
Lee's Chicken and Green Olive Tagine with Preserved Lemon
- 2 TBS EV Olive Oil
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 800gms organic chicken thigh fillets chopped
- ½ cup chicken stock or water
- ¾ cup Sicilian green olives
- Handful caperberries
- ¼ cup preserves lemon chopped into small chunks
- Celtic Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Warm Olive oil in tagine over medium heat
Fry garlic and turmeric stirring until fragrant
Add chicken and cook on high heat for 5-10 mins to brown
Turn temperature down and add stock, season and simmer on low for 20 mins
Add caperberries, preserved lemon and olives and cook for a further 10 mins on low
Make a condiment salad with chopped tomato, cucumber, red onion and mint with a squeeze of lemon
Place in a bowl
Remove from stove top (Remember bottom of tangine pot will be extremely hot)
Set the table
We served ours with asparagus and it also can be partnered with brown rice or quinoa pilaf (traditionally cous cous is used).
Enjoy this delicious 30 minute meal!