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Most chicken tagine recipes call for a whole chicken. I prefer leg quarters because they're inexpensive, perfectly suited for slow, moist cooking, and give the sauce great flavor. Preserved lemons are usually found at Middle-Eastern grocery stores or Whole Foods.
- 2 chicken leg quarters, skin removed and discarded
- 1 -2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads or 1⁄4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 preserved lemons or 2 meyer lemons, plus
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (2 one standard lemon plus 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar)
- 1 large carrot, cut into large dice
- 1 cup green olives
- Combine the spices in a small bowl.
- Heat a Dutch oven or heavy, lidded skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil, and brown the chicken.
- Add the diced onion and cook until translucent, 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the spices and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken broth and carrots, scrape up any brown bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan, cover tightly, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
- While the chicken cooks, prepare the lemons: for preserved lemons or fresh Meyer lemons, slice crosswise and remove seeds; for standard lemons, juice and strain out seeds, then remove zest from the juiced halves with a vegetable peeler and finely slice zest crosswise.
- If olives have pits, while the chicken cooks, smash 1-2 olives at a time with the flat side of a chef's knife and remove pits.
- Uncover the chicken and add the lemons and olives (and extra salt and sugar, if using fresh lemons). Turn up heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, turning chicken after 5 minutes.
- If sauce hasn't thickened yet, remove chicken to a plate, increase heat and continue to simmer sauce until thick.
- Serve over couscous or rice.