Swiss Chard Mustard Greens Chicken Lamb Tajine Recipe:
When I went food shopping this week, I saw gigantic and gorgeous bunches of Swiss Chard and Mustard Greens. That decided my main course right there and then: A Tajine! Don’t just talk about nutrition, just throw it in the pot, you will never go wrong! I am always reminded of a neighbor in Morocco who told me “Why are we known for one of the best cuisines in the world? for just one reason: We put everything in the pot, O’Rjah Fi Llah (we hope Gd will do the rest. Literally: we hope in Gd)”. The trick is to get yourself a heavy wide bottom stainless steel pot, the larger the better (mine is 14 inch diameter, 14 quarts), and you are ready to cook any stovetop dish, Moroccan, Indian etc… I couldn’t be without mine!
So here’s what I did, and what you should do:
Slice the mustard greens and Swiss chard, a bunch of each (no mustard green? 2 bunches Swiss Chard will do beautifully. So will 2 bunches of mustard greens and no Swiss Chard), stems and leaves, a good handful sliced green pitted olives, 3 diced plum tomatoes, 1/2 preserved lemon skin, 3 cups water, 2 teaspoons turmeric, 2 good pinches saffron. It will look like a mountain, but not for long. Bring everything to a boil.
Next, put in a dozen chicken thighs (skin and bone on, but skinless boneless is good too); I had a pound package of ground lamb, and decided it would be a great addition (Of course, skip it if you don’t have any, or replace it with ground beef or turkey). So, mix it with one egg, one medium minced onion, a little ground pepper, a pinch nutmeg (if you have Ras El Hanout, use 1 teaspoon, and skip the ground pepper and nutmeg) and 2-3 tablespoons little cold water. Shape little balls and throw them in the pot too. Reduce the flame to medium-high and cook, covered, 45 minutes.
Last, please do as I always do with all my tajines and all my stovetop dishes: Transfer all the food with a slotted spoon to a platter, and check the liquids in the pot: If they are too thin, reduce them on high flame, for just a minute or two, until they thicken to the consistency of maple syrup, then pour over the dish. Never neglect this step, or you will lose the wonderful flavors of your sauce reduction. Serve it hot, with brown rice or roasted potatoes.
The finished dish: Unbelievable!