The term ‘meqalli’ refers to a yellow sauce made from ginger, oil, and saffron, and can be varied with personal touches. Meqalli tagines can feature an almost infinite number of other ingredients. including coriander, garlic, onion, olives, preserved lemon, hot peppers, parsley, cinnamon, and sugar. These ingredients are added to suit the individual tastes of the cook, and to complement the chicken, lamb, or whatever meat is being used.
- 2 chickens weighing 3 lbs each
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or crumbled saffron
- 1/2 cup peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 sliced onions, optional
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 preserved lemon
- 10 large green olives
- Separate chickens into pieces and place in a thick-bottomed pan. Add oil, onion (if using), garlic, salt, spices, and 1 cup of water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and allow to simmer for up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- When the chicken cooked, and the flesh comes away from the bones easily with the fingers, quarter the preserved lemon and remove the flesh, leaving only the rind. Add it and the olives to the pot. Let the sauce boil down to a rich consistency and then remove from heat.
- Arrange the chicken --- and onions, if using --- on a warmed dish, arrange the olives and preserved lemons around it, and pour the sauce over.
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