Chicken Tajine with Haricots Verts. Beef Variation

Moroccan Chicken Tajine with Haricots Verts:

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 cousins.

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, bright, dense and crunchy. They are 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.

Scroll down for the meat variation!

Ingredients

  • 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)
  • 1 14-ounce package frozen artichoke bottoms, quartered (optional)
  • ½ preserved lemon, skin only, thoroughly rinsed and minced (Don't have it on hand? settle for the juice and zest of 1 lemon)
  • ¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons minced cilantro

Instructions

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 the chicken and haricots verts. Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.

Beef Tajine Variation:

If you decide to make this tajine with meat: use 4 pounds beef chunks (beef cheeks will be fantastic here, rinse them very well). Cook the meat in 6 cups water for two hours in a wide bottom pot. Add the saffron, turmeric, tomatoes, garlic and olives, and 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 beef 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 the beef and haricots verts. Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.

6 replies
  1. RebbetzinChanie
    RebbetzinChanie says:

    hi Levana
    we are doing a Moroccan themed shabbat at chabad this weekend and i want to make this recipe with meat.

    Can you please clarify the meat version of this recipe

    thank you so much and shabbat shalom

    Reply
  2. Nancy Miller
    Nancy Miller says:

    Hi Levana,
    This looks like an amazing recipe. I need to double it. I was wondering if I should double the water or put in enough to cover the chicken? Or should it be just a couple of inches high?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Nancy Here the key is to use a BROAD and LARGE bottom pot, and cover with water by just an inch or two. Then take the very simple last step very seriously: reduce the luquids in the pot at the end of cooking: That is your sauce.

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