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Potatoes have been introduced to Africa during the colonial era. Both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes took hold, despite distrust of this strange food that was growing underground. 

In the Maghreb, the potato was well accepted and soon, became part of the local gastronomy. The recipe of chicken tagine with potatoes and lemons is the example of how a new food can be included, and even welcomed, in a traditional dish such as tagine.

Ingredients :

  • 1 lb/ 450gr chicken breasts
  • 2-3 Russet potatoes (or a starchy variety)
  • 1/4 preserved lemon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
  • 8-10 threads of saffron crushed
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  cup / 60 ml water


If you do not have a tagine, you can use a saucepan. 

Take a small bowl and crush the saffron threads and add 2 tablespoons of warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes. 

Peel and quarter potatoes.

Add olive oil and chopped onions to the bottom of the tajine (or saucepan) and turn the burner on medium-low heat.

In a bowl add garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, parsley and cilantro. Mix in the saffron water and add the remaining 1/4 cup / 60 ml of water.

Arrange the quartered potatoes in the tagine/saucepan in a single layer and put the chicken on top.

Pour the spice and liquid mixture over the top and gently stir to coat the potatoes and chicken.

Cut the piece of preserved lemon into several pieces and insert around the tagine.

Cover tagine and cook on medium-low heat for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Try to avoid uncovering the tagine or pan while it cooks, just check that there is still enough water. When the potatoes are soft and chicken comes apart, it’s cooked !https://marocmama.com/chicken-with-potato-and-preserved-lemon-tajine/

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