Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

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My mother taught me how to cook, and how to love cooking. She had a lot of wonderful cookbooks and I loved to look through them. Several stand out. Cooks Illustrated was one. This recipe is adapted from that.

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Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour

1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 lemon
cloves garlic, minced
skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 4 pounds)
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, halved and cut into thin slices
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
large or 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick coins
1/2 cup green or Kalamata olives, pitted and halved 

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine the spices in a small bowl and set aside. Zest the lemon. Combine 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest with 1 minced garlic clove; set aside.

Season both sides of chicken pieces with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or pan over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke. Brown the chicken pieces skin side down in single layer until deep golden, about 5 minutes; using tongs, flip the chicken pieces over and brown the other side, about 4 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a large plate; Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have browned at the edges but still retain their shape, 5 to 7 minutes (add a few tablespoons of water now and then if the pan gets too dark). Add the remaining minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spices and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, honey, remaining lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Add the chicken (with any accumulated juices) back in, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the carrots, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes more.

Stir in the olives, reserved lemon zest-garlic mixture, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice; taste the sauce and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

Serve with couscous and homemade pita bread.

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