Because vegetables are key players in this dish, the recipe calls for only half a chicken. Scooping up the tagine with crusty bread helps stretch the meal even farther.
I double this recipe, preparing it in two separate tagines, when feeding my family of eight. If you're planning to eat with forks instead of Moroccan style, you might want to double the recipe as well.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- 1/2 chicken (or 4 pieces of chicken), skin removed
- 1/2 lb. (about 250 g) fresh or frozen peas
- 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) firm potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" thick slices
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (or 1/8 teaspoon Moroccan yellow colorant)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- pinch of saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- additional salt and pepper
In a bowl, mix the chicken with onions, garlic, herbs, and spices. Be sure the seasoning is distributed evenly.
Coat the base of a tagine with a little of the olive oil. Distribute the onions across the bottom, then the peas. Place the chicken (flesh-side down) in the center.
Swirl the 1/2 cup of water in the bowl used for the chicken to "rinse" the spices from the side of the bowl, and add the water to the tagine.
Arrange the potatoes slices around the chicken and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Add the broth, and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken and vegetables.
Close the tagine and place over medium-low heat. (A diffuser is recommended.) Stay patient while the tagine reaches a simmer -- it could take some time. Resist the temptation to turn up the heat unless the tagine is not simmering after 20 minutes, and even so, increase the heat only very moderately.
Once you hear the tagine simmering, leave the tagine to cook undisturbed (don't peak!) for about 1 hour 15 minutes.
After that time, open the tagine and turn over the chicken. Taste the broth, and add salt and pepper if desired. Add a little more water if you feel the vegetables have absorbed too much of the cooking liquid.
Continue cooking the tagine, covered, for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken and vegetables are very tender.
Serve the dish right from the tagine, with crusty Moroccan bread for scooping up the chicken, vegetables and sauce.