Chicken and Carrots

“My adopted mother, God bless her, used to make this for me with love. What amazes me is that she had her way of knowing when to add spices and for how long she reduces a sauce, all without any measurements, it was all in her hands. This dish is close to my heart. Rest in peace moy-zohra.”
–Medi Tabtoub, Vivo Ristorante Downtown

3 T olive oil
2 sm red onions, thinly sliced lengthways
3 cloves garlic
2 t ground ginger
½ t saffron, in a little warm water
1 t cinnamon
juice of ½ lemon
2 sm preserved lemons
2 T chopped parsley
1 sm bunch fresh coriander
6 chicken thighs
3 T green or violet olives
carrots peeled and cut lengthways into 4-inch long pieces (en bâtonnet)

Heat a Creuset pan or heavy-bottomed, shallow-lidded pan on low heat. Add the oil, followed by a layer of onion. Mash the garlic with ½ t salt and add to the pan.
Sprinkle over the ginger, saffron water and cinnamon, followed by the lemon juice, and coarsely chopped pulp of one preserved lemon and the rind of both, cut into slivers. Add the parsley and 2 T of the chopped coriander and toss it all together well.

Arrange the chicken on top and scatter over the olives. Pour 175 ml water into the pan, cover tightly and simmer very gently for 30 minutes until the chicken is almost cooked through, add the carrots and cook for another 10 minutes.

Season to taste and top with the remaining coriander, chopped.

Generally this dish is served with either plain couscous or French bread to dip in the sauce.

Serves 4-6.