Tagine de poulet aux pruneaux et aux amandes

The tagine is a Moroccan stew typically made with chicken or lamb cooked with dried fruit and nuts, or with olives, preserved lemon or really any vegetable combination — eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes. I think I can safely say that the tagine has entered the French culinary repertoire, and not only because it is ubiquitous in France these days. The elegance of the spices, the delicacy of the stew, make this dish worthy of inclusion. And in fact I love tagines so much that I am offering you more than this first one.

Tagine de poulet aux pruneaux et aux amandes / Moroccan chicken with prunes, almonds and honey

A second tagine is included in the recipe, and it’s my favorite — Tagine de poulet aux olives et au citron confit. It receives second billing because the preserved lemon and the right kind of slightly bitter olives may be harder to find outside of France, but it’s a star nonetheless. Both of these recipes take a small liberty with Moroccan tradition in that I suggest browning the chicken as a first step. A French friend whose mother is Moroccan insists that the meat in a tagine should be boiled, never browned first. But in my many years of making this dish I’ve always done it the same way, with spectacular results. So it’s a liberty I’m prepared to concede. You can try it either way. Let me know what works…

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