March Hare:
A very merry unbirthday to me!

Mad Hatter:
To who?

March Hare:
To me!

Mad Hatter:
Oh you!

March Hare:
A very merry unbirthday to you!

Mad Hatter:
Who me?

March Hare:
Yes, you!

One of us is the Mad Hatter and one of us is the March Hare…but either way, it is both of our unbirthdays and we are both getting a Le Creuset Tagine!

One of you will soon be cooking Moroccan food with your very own Tagine! How excited are you?!

Or do you actually have no effin’ idea what a Tagine is?

 

 

I realize that a Tagine may be a foreign concept to some since it is rarely seen around the US, but I promise every kitchen needs one. A Tagine is a shallow, round, pot with a cone shaped top designed to lock in moisture by circulating steam while cooking. A traditional Tagine is earthenware which tend to have problems with cracking when placed on a flame or stovetop. The Le Creuset version actually has a beautiful cast iron bottom and stone top to ensure a lifetime of usage. The word Tagine is used for the pot as well as the actual dish. The same way we refer to anything served in a casserole dish as “casserole” (ex: “Please pass me the casserole”).

I fell in love with Tagines 2 years ago. My girlfriend took me to an amazing Moroccan restaurant where I was served my first chicken tagine. It was the most delicious chicken I had ever had. This particular Tagine had large chunks of dark meat, that was perfectly tender and juicy. It was accompanied by prunes, apricots, nuts and a large helping of buttery couscous. One bite and I instantly knew that I had to own my very own Tagine. Like yesterday.

So when Le Creuset said they would like to do a giveaway and a review of one of their products, I prayed and wished on stars and even did a rain tagine dance in hopes that they would say ok to a Tagine giveaway instead of the classic Dutch Oven. While I absolutely LOVE their Dutch Ovens (because seriously, who doesn’t?), I really wanted to get my hands on one of these babies. Somehow the stars all aligned and this beautiful red Tagine arrived on my door a week later. I bought a cookbook that only has recipes for a Tagine and once it arrived I just about exploded from desire. I had a beautiful new Tagine, a cookbook full of recipes, and a whole week to figure out the perfect recipe to share with all of you.

I finally decided on a Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon, Green Olives, & Oregano. I was really intrigued by the combination of flavors and the preserved lemons. The chicken was so incredibly moist that I honestly did not have to use a knife to cut the chicken. The flavor from the marinade was absolutely phenomenal and I swear I saw Jorge licking his plate. I ended up having a difficult time finding preserved lemons, but I am so glad I went through the extra trouble of finding them. Wow, they really added a whole level of flavor to this recipe! They are not half as sour as a regular lemon and are incredibly soft (you eat the rind and all). I ended up finding them at World Market for $3.99 for 2 preserved lemons. I did find a recipe, in the new cookbook, on how to preserve lemons yourself (it takes a month) and will be blogging about that soon!

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

Leave a comment telling me about your first experience or most memorable experience with Moroccan food.

or

Tweet about the giveaway and mention @LeCreuset and @TheNoviceChef. Then come back here and leave a second comment with a link to the tweet!

 

Comments will close on Tuesday, July 26th at midnight (Florida time). The winner will be announced Wednesday, July 27th.

I will use Random.com to decide the winner. This giveaway is sponsored by Le Creuset. 

 

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon, Green Olives, & Oregano

Yield: 4 servings

Recipe Note: You can easily substitute the chicken thighs/legs for 4 chicken breasts.

Ingredients:

8-10 chicken thighs or 4 whole legs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 preserved lemons, cut into strips
6 oz cracked green olives
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano

for the marinade:
1 large onion, grated
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoonful peeled & grated fresh ginger
1 small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
a pinch of saffron threads
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large ziplock bag, mix together all ingredients for the marinade. Add chicken and shake/massage bag to massage marinade into skin. Place in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

Heat the olive oil with butter in a tagine over medium high heat. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and brown them each side. Pour over the marinade that is left in the ziplock bag and add enough hot water to cover halfway up the sides of the chicken. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to a medium-low, cover with lid, and simmer for about 45 minutes, turning chicken from time to time.

Add the preserved lemon, olives, and half the oregano to the tagine. Cover again and simmer for further 15-20 minutes. Check the seasoning and sprinkle the rest of the oregano over the top if you choose. Also adjust any salt/pepper issues. Sere immediately from the tagine with buttery couscous.

 

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Update: Winner has been chosen! Email me back (Jessica@thenovicechefblog.com) within 24 hours to claim your prize! Or another winner will be chosen!

 

 

**I was not compensated for my time or opinions, however I was given a Tagine to try!