Chicken m’qualli is Morocco’s most beloved tagine. A fragrant stew of chicken, preserved lemons and olives, that encapsulates all the sunshine flavours of Moroccan cuisine. Just add crusty bread and a salad, or roast potatoes and something green. B’saha!
6 skinless thighs and 3 breasts (cut in half) or a large whole chicken if you have a large enough tagine or pot.
3 onions, sliced into half-moons
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 glass white wine
75g green olives, pitted and torn in half
½ preserved lemon, flesh removed, rind rinsed and thinly sliced
1 litre chicken stock
Small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
You will need either a ceramic tagine or large pot.
- Pre-heat oven to 160ºC
- Sauté the chicken thighs and breasts in an oven proof pan with a lid, in olive oil, until golden brown (they do not need to be cooked all the way through), remove to a dish and set aside
- In the left-over oil, sauté the onions and garlic until soft and caramelized, add the spices and stir well to combine, then add the glass of wine and cook until absorbed
- Add the chicken back to the pan, along with any juices, then stir though the olives and the preserved lemon
- Pour over enough stock to ensure the chicken is just submerged, and bring to a boil
- Cook for 5 minutes, stir then put a lid on the pan, place in the oven and cook for about an hour, until the meat is spoon-tender and the sauce thickened
- Serve sprinkled with lots of parsley
Chicken M’Qualli is one of the tagines that we regularly create for our Moroccan themed nights in the Colonnade Cafe. We serve ours with a selection of seasonal salads and in the winter months, we accompany it with couscous.