Moroccan Chicken Tajine with String Beans
Posted on 30th of December, 2013 by Lévana
The demure string bean gets elevated to star status in our Moroccan way of cooking. Side dish? Never heard of it! All aboard in a tajine! Is it any wonder we Sephardis and all Moroccans love our vegetables? The string beans will be past the al dente stage here—they are an integral part of the dish. I love to use haricots verts, string beans’ slender and elegant French cousin (aren’t all French cousins slender and elegant? Not fair!). I find haricots verts increasingly easy to find: They are a little more expensive but well worth it, and perfect frozen as well. If not, of course string beans will do, but in this case, use only fresh, as frozen string beans won’t stand up to the cooking time.
8 servings chicken (drumsticks, thighs, half chicken breasts: 16 pieces total)
2 good pinches saffron
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 large, or 3 plum tomatoes, cut into small dice
6 large cloves garlic, minced
2 dozen pitted green olives, rinsed and sliced
2 cups water
2 pounds haricots verts, fresh or frozen (settle for fresh string beans)
½ preserved lemon, skin only, thoroughly rinsed and minced (settle for the juice and zest of 1 lemon)
¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons minced cilantro
Place chicken, saffron, turmeric, tomatoes, garlic, olives, and water in a wide, heavy pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium high, cover and cook for 40 minutes. Add the haricots verts and cook for 20 more minutes. Add the preserved lemon, parsley, and cilantro and cook for 10 minutes more. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving platter. Check the liquids left in the pot. If they look too thin, reduce over high flame until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour the sauce over chicken. Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.