If you have time in advance, marinate the Chicken pieces in the Ground Coriander, Cumin and Ginger (add a little Olive Oil to rub in with the spices). Overnight is good – an afternoon would do – and you don’t actually have to do this stage at all; this Tagine tastes great with no marinating!
To get ready to cook – chop your Onions, washed Carrots, Fennel or Leeks and Garlic… Chop the veg large as they need to cook for a long time…
Heat some Olive Oil in a large heavy bottomed pan – and brown the Chicken… I mostly use half a Chicken, and just put it in in two pieces – breast joint and leg, with bones (don’t use the skin here, it adds nothing to the taste and adds cholesterol unnecessarily). Once the Chicken is cooked, you can take the meat off the bone before serving. If you prefer, you can just use large chunks of diced Chicken meat (latter won’t take quite as long to cook)
Once the Chicken meat is browned all over (give it a little colour, it will add to the flavour), remove and set aside
Add a little more Oil to the pan if necessary and throw in the Onions and Carrots. Fry for a few moments to get them going; then add the Fennel or Leeks. Again, give them a few moments before throwing in the Cumin, Coriander and Ginger (if you didn’t use them as a marinade), also the chopped Garlic. Stir for a few moments over a gentle heat before adding the Olives, chopped Preserved Lemon and Saffron. At this stage re-add the Chicken to the pan
Now add enough water to nearly cover the Chicken and Veg… Bring to the boil, put onto a very low heat with the lid on, and give it an hour and a half or so – stirring very occasionally. 10 minutes before the end of cooking time – add the Chick Peas before putting the lid back on
The Tagine is done when the Chicken is falling off the bone, and is cooked all the way through. If there is too much liquid, cook a little off with the lid off… If there isn’t enough sauce, add a little water…
Serve with fresh Coriander (chopped) and some CousCous