chicken tagine

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: Adapted from "Food Made Fast: Slow Cooker" by Norman Kolpas, with the help of Sameh Wadi of Saffron Restaurant & Lounge in Minneapolis. Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend, available at many Mediterranean specialty food stores (see locations at right). Preserved lemons are available at many Mediterranean specialty food stores and kitchen specialty stores.

• 1/4 c. flour

• 1 tsp. salt

• 6 chicken thighs, about 3 lb. total

• 1/4 c. olive oil

• 1 1/2 tbsp. ras el hanout (see Note)

• 2 c. chicken broth

• 2 garlic cloves, crushed

• 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained

1 preserved lemon, cut into wedges (see Note)

1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp. juice from preserved lemons (or freshly squeezed lemon juice with a pinch of salt)

1 tbsp. finely chopped preserved lemon peel (see Note)

• 1/2 c. coarsely chopped cilantro


On a large plate, stir together the flour and salt. Coat chicken thighs evenly with flour mixture, shaking off the excess; reserve remaining flour mixture.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Turn thighs over and brown for 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer chicken thighs to a slow cooker.

Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon fat from pan and return pan to medium-high heat. Add ras el hanout and remaining flour mixture and stir briefly until fragrant. Pour in broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Pour contents of pan over chicken.

Add garlic and tomatoes to slow cooker and push preserved lemon wedges into chicken. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours (or on low for 4 hours), according to the manufacturer's instructions. Stir in chickpeas and juice from preserved lemons (or lemon juice) and cook for 1 hour more.

Remove and discard preserved lemon. Stir in preserved lemon peel. Transfer chicken to a platter, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Serve with couscous mixed with currants and toasted sliced almonds.