253 – Tagine of Chicken with Fennel / طاجين الفراخ بالشمر
- 1 pound / 1/2 kilogram chicken drums
- 1 large onion (grated or finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- A pinch saffron threads (optional)
- Small bouquet of cilantro
- 2-3 fennel bulbs
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Pulp of 1/4 preserved lemon (chopped)
- 2 cups water
Step 1: Preparing the Ingredients
1. First, we are going to cut the fennel. Remove the top of the fennel (that contains the branches) then cut the bottom. Remove the outer layer of the fennel becaues it’s hard. Quarter the fennel.
2. One of the unique ingredient in this recipe is preserved lemon! I am using a little bit of preserved lemon pulp, you can either purchase it or make it home! If you dont have preserved lemons, it’s ok, you can skip it in this recipe. Chop the preserved lemon pulp and keep it for later.
Step2: Directions for Cooking the Chicken
1. On medium heat, drizzle the olive oil in your pot.
2. Once the oil heats up add grated onion.
3. Add the spices. I am using saffron threads – but if you dont have saffron you can skip it.
4. Add the chicken to the onion mixture. I am using chicken drums but feel free to use any other chicken parts. Mix the chicken with the onion mixture. Cover your pot and let the chicken cook for around 5 minutes on medium heat. Check from time to time and give it a little stir.
5. Add the garlic cloves (crushed) and a small bouquet of cilantro. Add water until it half covers the chicken.
6. Cover your pot, increase the heat to medium high and cook the chicken until it’s half done (around 20 minutes). From time to time check on the tagine to make sure that the level of water is good and that you do need to add more.
Step 3: Adding the Fennel to the Chicken
1.fter 20 minutes, the chicken is half done. Add the fennel quarters to the pot. Add a little bit of water (if necessary) to cook the fennel. The water should half cover the chicken.
2. Cover and cook on medium high until the chicken and fennel are ready (around 15 minutes).
3. Total cooking time so far has been 35 minutes (20 minutes chicken alone + 15 minutes chicken with fennel). Now remove the cilantro bouquet from the pot.
4. Add a little bit of lemon juice to the sauce and the chopped preserved lemon pulp. Continue cooking, uncovered, on high heat for 5 minutes until the chicken and fennel are ready and the sauce thickens.
5. Once you add the lemon, makes sure to taste the sauce and adjust the spices accordingly (salt, pepper, and ground ginger).
Step 4: Serving the tagine
1. To serve the tagine, you first take the chicken and place it on the plate. Then add the fennel on top. Finally, pour the sauce over the meat and on the sides of the dish.
Serve the tagine hot with either French bread or Moroccan bread (check out my video on how to make it).