Moroccan chicken tagine with cauliflower
Tagine is one of the most soulful dishes of Northwest Africa and refers to both the food itself and the vessel in which it is often cooked and served. The most classic tagines are made with lamb, chicken, goat, and vegetables, and the delicate and tangy flavors that the region is known for are expressed in this quintessential Berber dish.
What’s wonderful about my Moroccan-inspired tagine is that the spices bring a delicious, warm finish, rather than a hot and spicy one. Tagine is one of the great recipes where everything is cooked together and both meat and vegetables get equal attention.
Create a mix of toasty spices using a mortar and pestle to grind everything together for a blend that lends an exotic finish. Briny olives and preserved lemon add complexity and contrast to the earthy notes of saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, sweet paprika, and coriander, creating a harmonious combination.
- 1 farm-raised chicken
- 2 tablespoons spice mix (11 g) + extra for sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil (80 ml)
- 1 head cauliflower
- 3 Roma tomatoes
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger (24 g)
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1/4 teaspoon spice mix (0.5 g)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (16 g)
- 2 cups chicken stock (480 ml, see p. 108)
- 3 tablespoons preserved lemon confit rind (approximately 2 lemons)
- 1 cup Castelvetrano olives (150 g)
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked
- 7 tablespoons sweet paprika (48 g)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder (5 g)
- 4 - 5 cinnamon sticks (17.5 g)
- 6 1/4 tablespoons coriander seeds (25 g)
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (20 g)
- 2 tablespoons ginger powder (12.5 g)
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (2.5 g)
- 1/2 tablespoon cardamom pods (2.5 g)
- 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (12.5 g)
Step 1: Spice mix
In a large dry sauté pan, toast the spices over low heat. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind until well combined. Store in a dry, covered container.
You could also use a clean, handheld coffee grinder to blend your spices.
Step 2: Chicken tagine
Butcher the chicken into breasts, legs, and thighs. Remove the bones from the thighs and the wing tips from the breasts. Season the chicken on all sides with 2 tablespoons (11 g) of the spice mix and 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of the olive oil. Save all the bones for the chicken stock.
This recipe was originally published in "My Best Daniel Boulud" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits
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