This colorful Moroccan-inspired stew offers a tantalizing combination of spicy, sweet, salty and tangy flavors. Lemon juice and lemon zest stand in for the typical preserved lemons, making it easy to achieve on a busy night. Serve this full-flavored dish over a mound of Israeli or regular couscous or buttered orzo. If you don’t have a slow cooker with a flameproof insert, do the first three steps in a sauté pan on the stove top, then transfer the contents of the pan to the slow cooker after bringing everything to a boil.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Tagine with Olives and Lemon
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg) bone-in chicken breasts and thighs, skinned
- 1/8 tsp. saffron threads
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. hot paprika
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbs. grated lemon zest
- 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint
1. On a plate, stir together the flour, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Turn the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, coating evenly and shaking off any excess. In a small bowl, crumble the saffron into the broth.
2. Put the flameproof insert of a slow-cooker on the stove top over medium-high heat, then add the oil and warm until hot. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken pieces and cook, turning as needed, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. Pour off all but 3 Tbs. of the fat from the insert and return the insert to medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the paprika, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and coriander and cook, stirring, until the spices are fragrant and evenly coat the onion-garlic mixture, about 1 minute. Pour in the broth-saffron mixture and deglaze the insert, stirring and scraping up the browned bits on the insert bottom with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil.
4. Transfer the insert to the slow cooker and add the chicken, arranging the thighs on the bottom and the breasts on top. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. About 1 hour before the chicken is done, uncover and scatter the olives over the chicken, then sprinkle with the lemon juice and zest. Re-cover and continue to cook on low until the chicken is tender and opaque throughout.
5. Transfer the chicken to plates, spoon the cooking juices and olives over the top and garnish with the mint. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Learn to make the most of your slow cooker with this and other inspiring recipes in our Quick Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw.