Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons

My favorite Maroccan dish by far is Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons. It’s wonderful because the tagine cooking technique yields a tender and flavorful chicken, while the preserved lemons add a tangy touch to the dish. To cook with a tagine you place all of the ingredients inside the tagine at the same time, cover and cook slowly and gently as you would a ragout. What you end up with is an amazingly fragrant dish.

Chicken tagine with preserved lemons is a beautifully aromatic dish and a perfect way to cook chicken

According to Mary Ellen Snodgrass, in her Encyclopedia of Kitchen History, tagines can be traced back to an 8th century ruler of the Islamic empire, and they’ve been a staple of Maroccan cooking technique ever since. You can buy tagines glazed or unglazed; I have three and they’re all glazed. My favorite tagine maker is Emile Henry, a fabulous tagine producer in Marcigny, Burgundy France since 1850.

Don’t think for a minute that a tagine is something special just to be used for Maroccan cookery! Tagines happen to be the perfect way to prepare any one pot, slow cookery dish. Tagines also make a beautiful presentation when brought to the table! If you don’t have one, I highly recommend purchasing one.

Full disclosure: I make a small commission for purchases made through links on my blog. Prices are identical to those on the Amazon website, but purchasing through my link helps support my work in bringing you great recipes and culinary information!

Chicken tagine with preserved lemons, a wonderful Maroccan dish!

To make a perfect tagine the first step is to prepare an aromatic base by sautéing spices, garlic and onions in a little oil. You then add your main ingredient…usually chicken, lamb or fish…and toss it in the aromatic base until it’s coated. The next step is usually to add honey and a soft or dried fruit like prunes or raisins which  help create a syrupy base for the tagine.

Finally you add all your other ingredients, usually different vegetables. The conical design of the tagine allows the steam generated during cooking  to go to the top of the tagine and then drip back down onto the ingredients. This way the wonderful flavors become well amalgamated during the slow cooking process. The meat or fish cooks from the heat of the flame and the other ingredients are cooked by the steam. If you use a lot of vegetables in your dish they’ll generate enough moisture during cooking. Otherwise add a glass of water or broth to the tagine just before you start cooking.

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons

Serves 4-6

There are a number of wonderful recipes for chicken tagine with preserved lemons, most of them delicious Moroccan tagines. This recipe uses those wonderful flavors, but is a simpler, easier to prepare version.

Ingredients

Chicken, one whole, cut into pieces and skinned
Ginger, 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin, 1/2 teaspoon
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Black pepper, freshly ground, 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic, 4 cloves, minced
Saffron, 1/4 teaspoon
Onions, 2 medium, thinly sliced
Olive oil, 3 tablespoons
Cinnamon stick
Preserved lemons, 3 medium
Olives, calamata or other similar, 10, pitted
Vegetable broth, 1/2 liter (2 cups)
Parsley, a small bunch, minced
One lemon, sliced, for garnish

Cooking Instructions

Remove all the pulp from the preserved lemons and discard.
Slice the lemons into thin strips and set aside.

PreservedLemonsInJars2

Gently sauté the ginger, cumin, garlic, saffron and onion together in the olive oil over a low flame for about fifteen minutes until tender and slightly browned.

Spices for chicken with preserved lemons

Toss the chicken pieces in this aromatic base and sauté on all sides until just browned.

Top with the olives, preserved lemons, salt, pepper and cinnamon stick.
Pour the broth over the chicken.

Cover and cook over a low flame until the chicken is cooked through and starting to separate from the bones (about 30 to 45 minutes). If the broth evaporates during cooking add a small amount of water to the pan.

While the chicken is cooking mince the parsley and slice the lemon for garnish.
Serve the chicken directly from the tagine; first top with minced parsley and sliced lemons.

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons
Print

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons

There are a number of wonderful recipes for chicken with preserved lemons, most of them delicious Moroccan tagines. This recipe uses those aromatic flavors, but is a simpler, easier to prepare version.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Maroccan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Chicken cut into pieces and skinned
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper freshly ground
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Saffron
  • 2 medium Onions thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 3 medium Preserved lemons
  • 10 pitted Olives calamata or other similar
  • 2 cups Vegetable broth 1/2 liter
  • 1 small bunch Parsley minced
  • 1 One lemon sliced, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Remove all the pulp from the preserved lemons and discard.
    PreservedLemonsInJars2
  2. Slice the lemons into thin strips and set aside.
    Sliced preserved lemons
  3. Gently sauté the ginger, cumin, garlic, saffron and onion together in the olive oil over a low flame for about fifteen minutes until tender and slightly browned.
    Spices for chicken with preserved lemons
  4. Toss the chicken pieces in this aromatic base and sauté on all sides until just browned.
  5. Top with the olives, preserved lemons, salt, pepper and cinnamon stick.
  6. Pour the broth over the chicken.
  7. Cover and cook over a low flame until the chicken is cooked through and starting to separate from the bones (about 30 to 45 minutes).
    Chicken tagine with preserved lemons, a wonderful Maroccan dish!
  8. If the broth evaporates during cooking add a small amount of water to the pan.
  9. While the chicken is cooking mince the parsley and slice the lemon for garnish.
  10. Serve the chicken directly from the tagine; first top with minced parsley and sliced lemons.

Supplì al Telefono: Roman-style Stuffed Rice Balls

Roman-style Stuffed Rice Balls, known in Rome as Supplì al Telefono are a classic of Roman cuisine…the roman version of street food. These luscious rice balls are stuffed with meat and cheese. As you bite into the supplì the melted cheese stretches out and resembles a telephone cord; hence the name “al telefono”. Originally the meat used to stuff the supplì was chicken gizzards, but nowadays many people make supplì with ground veal. Often mushrooms and mortadella are also added to the filling. They’re satisfying and delicious and if served with a salad and great bread make for a perfect meal! Here’s how to make supplì al telefono…

Luscious supplì al telefono: deep fried stuffed rice balls

Ingredients

Arborio rice, 250 grams (9 ounces)
One can of peeled whole tomatoes, 400 grams (14 ounces)
Vegetable or meat broth, 400 milliliters (1 3/4 cups)
Two large eggs, beaten
Parmesan cheese, grated, 2 tablespoons
Olive oil, 3 tablespoons
Ground veal, 120 grams (4 1/4 ounces)*
Mozzarella, 150 grams (5 1/4 ounces)
Two large eggs, beaten
Bread crumbs, about 1 cup
Oil for frying

Cooking Instructions

Cook the rice in the broth along with 4 of the tomatoes from the can of peeled tomatoes until al dente, or according to package instructions (usually around 15 to 18 minutes).
Remove from the heat and stir in two beaten eggs and the Parmesan cheese.
Set aside to cool thoroughly.
Sauté the ground veal in olive oil until cooked through.*
Add the rest of the canned tomatoes and their juice to the veal.
Simmer uncovered on low until the sauce is nice and thick, about 20 to 30 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking cut the mozzarella into 1 centimeter (1/3 inch) cubes.
Take a small amount of rice in your hands and roll into oblong balls, roughly the size of an egg.
Set aside and repeat with the rest of the rice mixture.
Use your finger to make a hole in each rice ball, just large enough to insert a small spoonful of meat sauce and one or two cubes of mozzarella.
Make sure to reseal each hole firmly.
Dip the rice balls in the beaten eggs, then roll in the bread crumbs.
Fry a few rice balls at a time in enough oil to just cover the rice balls.
Turn occasionally and when the supplì al telefono are golden and crunchy on the outside drain on newspaper covered with paper towels.
Serve the supplì al telefono immediately.

Luscious supplì al telefono: deep fried stuffed rice balls

Luscious meat and cheese stuffed rice balls
Print

Roman-style Stuffed Rice Balls "Supplì al Telefono"

This is a classic of Roman cuisine...our version of street food. Luscious rice balls stuffed with meat and cheese. As you bite into the supplì the cheese stretches out and resembles a telephone cord; hence the name "al telefono". Originally the meat used was chicken gizzards, but nowadays many people make supplì with ground veal. Often mushrooms and mortadella are also added to the filling.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 9 ounces Arborio rice 250 grams
  • 14 ounces One can of peeled whole tomatoes 400 grams
  • 1 3/4 cups Vegetable or meat broth 400 milliliters
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese grated
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 4 1/4 ounces Ground veal 120 grams
  • 5 1/4 ounces Mozzarella 150 grams
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 cup Bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice in the broth along with 4 of the tomatoes from the can of peeled tomatoes until al dente, or according to package instructions (usually around 15 to 18 minutes).
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in two beaten eggs and the Parmesan cheese.
  3. Set aside to cool thoroughly.
  4. Sauté the ground veal in olive oil until cooked through.

  5. Add the rest of the canned tomatoes and their juice to the veal.
  6. Simmer uncovered on low until the sauce is nice and thick, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. While the sauce is cooking cut the mozzarella into 1 centimeter (1/3 inch) cubes.
  8. Take a small amount of rice in your hands and roll into oblong balls, roughly the size of an egg.
  9. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the rice mixture.
  10. Use your finger to make a hole in each rice ball, just large enough to insert a small spoonful of meat sauce and one or two cubes of mozzarella.
  11. Make sure to reseal each hole firmly.
  12. Dip the rice balls in the beaten eggs, then roll in the bread crumbs.
  13. Fry a few rice balls at a time in enough oil to just cover the rice balls.
  14. Turn occasionally and when the rice balls are golden and crunchy on the outside drain on newspaper covered with paper towels.
  15. Serve immediately.
    Delicious supplì al telefono

Banana Nutella Bread

If you love rich banana flavor and a dessert that’s full of chocolatey flavor then Banana Nutella Bread is the dessert for you!

Banana Nutella Bread for dessert

It just so happens that chocolate and banana are a heavenly match; the addition of Nutella takes this banana bread to a new level!
If you’re looking for intense banana flavor then very ripe bananas are an absolute must. Microwave the bananas a few minutes, drain off the liquid and then simmer until it’s reduced by half.  You’ll end up with a wonderfully intense banana flavor.
It’ll be hard to resist eating this banana nutella bread as soon as it pops out of the oven, but it’s better to serve it a day or two later to give the flavors a chance to enrich still further!

Ingredients

Butter, softened, 85 grams (3 ounces)
Brown sugar, dark, 150 grams (5 1/4 ounces)
Eggs, 2 large
Bananas, (very ripe & black, about six), peeled, 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds)
Cream, 78 milliliters (1/3 cup)
Flour, 240 grams (8 1/2 ounces)
Baking soda, 1 teaspoon
Baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Nutella, about 1 – 1 1/2 cups

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
Line a 21.5 x 11.5 centimeter (8.5 x 4.5 inch) loaf pan with oven paper.
Reserve one banana to top the bread and mash the remaining bananas together.
Cook the bananas in a microwave oven on high for five minutes, in a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap, into which you’ve cut several slits.
Use a fine mesh strainer to drain and reserve the banana liquid from the pulp for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
Set the pulp aside.
Simmer the banana liquid for about fifteen minutes until the liquid is reduced by half.
Add the liquid back to the banana pulp.
Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the eggs, cream and bananas and mix for 30 seconds on medium.
Stir the dry ingredients together, then add to the mixer and combine just until fully incorporated.
Pour 1/3 of the batter into the loaf pan.
Using two spoons, dollop Nutella onto the batter. Dollops should be grape-sized; about 6 to 9 dollops per layer.

Banana Nutella Bread for dessert
Add another third of the batter, and repeat with the Nutella dollops.
Add the remainder of the batter and again Nutella dollops.
Slice the reserved banana in half lengthwise and place on top of the banana Nutella bread.
Bake for thirty minutes, then lower the temperature to 175°C (350°F) and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
Cool thoroughly before removing from the loaf pan.
Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap to freeze or serve the following day.

Delicious Banana Nutella Bread

Banana Nutella Bread
Print

Banana Nutella Bread

Chocolate and banana are a heavenly match; the addition of Nutella takes this banana bread to a new level! Very ripe bananas are an absolute must; reducing the banana liquid in half enriches the banana flavor still further. It'll be hard to resist eating this bread as soon as it pops out of the oven, but serving it a day or two later gives the flavors a chance to enrich still further!
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces Butter softened, 85 grams
  • 5 1/4 ounces Brown sugar dark, 150 grams
  • 2 Eggs large
  • 2.2 pounds Bananas very ripe & black, about six, peeled, 1 kilogram
  • 1/3 cup Cream 78 milliliters
  • 8 1/2 ounces Flour 240 grams
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 cup Nutella

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
  2. Line a 21.5 x 11.5 centimeter (8.5 x 4.5 inch) loaf pan with oven paper.
  3. Reserve one banana to top the bread and mash the remaining bananas together.
  4. Cook the bananas in a microwave oven on high for five minutes, in a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap, into which you've cut several slits.
  5. Use a fine mesh strainer to drain and reserve the banana liquid from the pulp for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Set the pulp aside.
  7. Simmer the banana liquid for about fifteen minutes until the liquid is reduced by half.
  8. Add the liquid back to the banana pulp.
  9. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together.
  10. Add the eggs, cream and bananas and mix for 30 seconds on medium.
  11. Stir the dry ingredients together, then add to the mixer and combine just until fully incorporated.
  12. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the loaf pan.
  13. Using two spoons, dollop Nutella onto the batter. Dollops should be grape-sized; about 6 to 9 dollops.
    Banana Nutella Bread for dessert
  14. Add another third of the batter, and repeat with the Nutella dollops.
  15. Add the remainder of the batter and again Nutella dollops.
  16. Slice the reserved banana in half lengthwise and place on top of the banana bread.
  17. Bake for thirty minutes, then lower the temperature to 175°C (350°F) and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
  18. Cool thoroughly before removing from the loaf pan.
  19. Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap to freeze or serve the following day.
    Delicious Banana Nutella Bread

Santa Cecilia Basilica in Trastevere

Exquisite crypt area within the Basilica Santa Cecilia Trastevere

Visitors to Trastevere usually approach the neighborhood from the Ponte Sisto footbridge. It’s a natural thing to do after a walk through Rome’s centro storico. The area is full of people and bustling with life within its many shops, bars and restaurants. And yet if you head just a bit further along the lungotevere to the Tiber Island you’ll reach a…

Tiramisù!

I’ve come to love tiramisù now that I’ve fine tuned my recipe to exactly suit my taste. The key to great tiramisù is to use mascarpone, and to beat the eggs until they’re cloud-fluffy. Of course good espresso and high quality Marsala wine are a given! You can chill tiramisù in a large serving dish…

Italian Cocktails, Mocktails & Liqueurs

Aperol Spritz Cocktail

Italian cocktails and mocktails are frequently low alcohol content and often with a hint of bitter flavor. This is changing with globalization. Italian cocktails and mocktails are now beginning to take on an international flare and resemble those you’d see in the United States and elsewhere. I far prefer the classic Italian cocktails and mocktails that Italians have…

Lemon Poundcake Drizzled with Lemon Glaze

Lemon Poundcake Drizzled with Lemon Glaze Our lemon tree is bursting with lemons and this is no exaggeration. I haven’t counted them but there are hundreds of beautiful lemons. We leave them on the tree all winter long and pick them as we need them each day: for salad dressings and the like. Let’s face it…

Academy of Saint Luke, within the Palazzo Carpegna

Academy of Saint Luke courtyard sculpture

How many times have you walked right by the Academy of Saint Luke (Accademia di San Luca) on your way to visit the nearby Fontana di Trevi and never even noticed it? My guess is many. The next time you’re in the area add the Academy of Saint Luke to your itinerary. It’s an often overlooked jewel…