TAJEEN AL DAJAJ AL MAQHRIBI (MORROCAN) MORROCAN CHICKEN TAJEEN
Morocco is famous for its Tajeens. Tajeens are prepared in clay utensils with cone shaped covers that trap steam in which the ingredient are cooked. Tajeen is prepared with various ingredient i.e. meat, vegetables, chicken, seafood. It is prepared both salty or sweetened with honey, dried fruits almonds are also added.
Chicken Tajeen is flavoured with pickled lemon (Muraqad) which is a must in most of the salty Tajeens. Muraqad is prepared by cross slashing each lemon into 4 connected sections. Each lemon is stuffed with 1 tablespoon of salt. The lemons are then packed in a clean dry jar, tightly covered and stored for 2-3 weeks in a cool dark place. Use clean dry forks to pick the lemons.
1 kg chicken, cut into eight pieces
¼ cup olive oil
cup chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
4 tablespoons chopped coriander
¼ cup water (optional)
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
¼ cup green olives (60 g)
1 pickled lemon (Muraqad)
(Serves 4 persons)
1- In a Tajeen dish or a skillet heat oil, stir in onion and garlic until soft. Add chicken spices and half of the saffron. Stir until the chicken is coated with oil and spice mixture and slightly golden .
2- Sprinkle with the remaining saffron followed by fresh coriander and parsley.
3- Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes placing a metal sheet underneath the tajeen dish or skillet. Add small quantities of water, if required. Cook until the chicken is tender.
4- Add pickled lemon and olives.
5- Cover and simmer. If needed, add salt to taste and serve.