The Broadmoor’s Moroccan Chicken Tagine – Chef Mark Musial
This unique dish is probably the best way to view Moroccan food as a whole. Its mix of spices and ingredients like preserve lemon, ginger, and olives reflect Morocco’s history as the crossroads for Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. No tagine dish is the same in Morocco, it starts with a set of ingredients (meat and vegetables), herbs and spices that are bundled together to form traditional dishes, however, every family, food stall, and restaurant does it differently.
That speaks to me as a cook. I like to think that a child is somewhere learning the family’s spice recipe for the first time. Or somewhere a food stall owner is saying the guy’s tagine down the road is garbage because it doesn’t have enough clove in it.
In its simplest form, tagine is a stew made in a special pot by the same name. However it is so much more then that, play with this recipe, add something to it and make it your own and then pass it on to somebody else so that they can make it their own.
A tagine is a cone-shaped earthenware pot that is used to slow cook stews and vegetable dishes. It is a very practical design because its cone shape traps the steam from the cooking process and replaces the condensed cooking liquid back into the stew. This makes it very efficient in areas where water supplies are limited or where public water is not yet available.
If you are the purist type and want to be authentic, you buy a tagine online – Williams Sonoma has some great ones. They can also make for beautiful display pieces, however it’s not a must have. (Spoiler alert: We don’t use one here at Summit.)
First let us start with The Broadmoor’s recipe for Ras el Hanout. [Note: It would be completely possible for me to bore you to tears about Ras el Hanout. The name means “head of the shop” and it is a list of spices with no set amount or ingredients. Anywhere from 10 to 20 to 100 (ridiculous) spices can go into the mixture. Spice merchants’ reputations are often built on the worth and notoriety of their Ras el Hanout blends.]
Ras el Hanout
Ground Ginger: 2 teaspoons
Ground Cardamom: 2 teaspoons
Ground Mace: 2 teaspoons
Cinnamon: 1 teaspoon
Ground Allspice: 1 teaspoon
Coriander Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Nutmeg: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric: 1 teaspoon
Black Pepper: ½ teaspoon
White Pepper: ½ teaspoon
Cayenne Pepper: ½ teaspoon
Anise Seeds: ½ teaspoon
Clove: ½ teaspoon
Blend all of the spices and store in a rubber sealed glass jar.
• 1 whole chicken, cut into six pieces (wings, breast, legs)
• 2 large yellow onions, chopped
• 1 handful of fresh chopped cilantro
• 1 handful of fresh chopped parsley
• 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
• 2 teaspoons of ginger
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon saffron
• 1 table spoon Ras el Hanout
• ½ cup of green olives
• 1 preserve lemon
• 1/3 cup olive oil (use a blend or a light olive oil made for frying)
• ¼ cup of chicken stock
Remove the flesh from the preserve lemon, and finely chop it. Mix this with the chicken, garlic, Ras el Hanout, ginger, cilantro, parsley, and saffron. Allow to marinate over night if possible.
Coat the bottom of a tagine or Dutch oven with the olive oil and heat on medium-high. Sear the chicken skin side down until it has a nice deep brown color. Add onions, olives, ginger, preserve lemon, saffron, and chicken stock. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer gently, do not allow boiling. Once simmering, place lid on tagine or Dutch oven and put in a pre-heated 265 degree oven. This will allow you to control the heat better. Check the chicken after fifteen minutes to make sure it is a gentle simmer. Cook for 60 to 75 minutes until chicken is fork tender.
So your chicken tagine is now ready, but what do you serve it with?
You could serve it with some saffron rice, quinoa would be nice as well, at Summit we serve ours with couscous (so good they had to name it twice).
Super simple recipe, we use Israeli couscous which is a bigger then Italian couscous.
Start by toasting the couscous in a pot until it takes on a little color and become fragrant add the water and cook until tender, we then sauté the couscous in a pan with some fresh garlic, shallots, English peas, and zucchini.
Finish the dish with some fresh parsley, lemon juice, and some good Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
For plate presentation, place the couscous in a bowl and then the chicken tagine on top spooning some of the braising liquid on top. If you need to thicken the liquid, use a corn starch slurry and season accordingly. Some toasted almonds sprinkled on top and picked Italian parsley would be a nice touch.
Enjoy this dish with a light bodied red wine like Beaujolais from France or a white wine like Assyrtiko from Santorini Greece. Pretty much a clear canvas on this one guys… drink what feels right.
For more chef recipes visit: broadmoor.com/past-recipes