One of my favourite places here in Rabat is the Rabat Medina. It is a wonderful place to have a stroll about, looking at little odds and ends without the hassle that you get in some of the larger medinas in Morocco.
There is one little courtyard that has a trader I have come to know over the time we have lived here, I love going into his little shop as it is so small, about 1 metre x 3 metres and filled to the roof with all sorts of goodies, from carpets to old tea pots and trinkets…some old…some new. There is a leather craftsman next door and another little shop with the most wonderful wooden items.
As with other medina’s in Morocco it is not only full of shops but also a place where people live and inevitably there is the smell of fragrant meals being cooked, wafting through the alleyways that always leave me feeling very hungry!
So after a little wonder around, a trip to the spice shop and a wander through the carpet souk it is definitely time for a good Moroccan tagine! We get alot of fennel here in Morocco and I have been wanting to try it in a tagine for ages so was very excited to find a recipe for Chicken and Fennel Tagine.
I have adapted the recipe somewhat, but please pop over to the original recipe here, especially for tips on how to cook it in a pot or dutch oven if you dont have a tagine!
1 chicken cut into pieces
2 large fennel bulbs, quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
I medium onion, sliced into rings
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ tsp ginger
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp white pepper
1 ½ tsp saffron threads, crumbled
Black pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 cup water
Handful of coriander, tied into a bouquet
1 or 2 handfuls of red olives
1/2 preserved lemon, chopped
Pour about half of the olive oil into the tagine base and layer the onion rings in it.
In a bowl, mix the chicken with the chopped onion, garlic, and spices. Arrange the chicken (meat side down) in the centre of the tagine, and spread the chopped onions all around.
Add the water to the tagine.
Arrange the fennel quarters around the rim of the tagine, place the coriander on top of the chicken, and drizzle the remaining olive oil over all.
Add the olives and preserved lemon.
Cover and place the tagine on a diffuser over medium-low heat.
Allow the tagine to heat slowly to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook over a very low heat for about 2 hours. Turn the chicken once.
Discard the coriander and serve.
Serve with Moroccan Flat breads, rice or couscous.
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