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oofencocotte

Help with tagine liquid

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

 

I have a mini tagine pot for one person that I'm really enjoying using. 

 

But I'm finding that the liquid and the spices don't seem to congeal into a sauce while cooking. At the end I'm left with a very watery liquid in the tagine which has a gritty taste, as if the spices haven't dissolved properly. 

 

This is the recipe i used today (reduced to just one chicken leg) that I got from youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpsUQ7SbTXs):

1.5 kg chicken (cut into pieces or just thighs)
Ingredients for Chicken Marinade:
Saffron water: A large pinch of saffron + 1 cup of warm water. You can store up to 1 month in the fridge.
We will use 1 teaspoon of saffron water.
The pulp of 1 large preserved lemon (or 2 small ones)
A handful of fresh cilantro and parsley
2 large garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Ingredients for the tagine:
2 onions (grated)
2 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt and ground turmeric
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Handful of green olives
The skin of 1 preserve lemon (cut into quarters)

 

I marinated the chicken over night. Then I added a bed of onions with olive oil and turmeric into the tagine pot, then the chicken and all the marinade. I cooked it for over one hour. At the end the recipe said to cook it with the lid off for twenty minutes until the sauce thickens, but after thirty minutes it was still watery. 

 

Does anyone have any advice? Many thanks


Edited by oofencocotte (log)

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Onions are the thickening agent.  It could have to do with the size of your onions.  Also I'd be inclined to cook the onions down a bit first before adding the chicken.

 

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For my stovetop tagine, I have ended up reducing the water in any of Paula Wolfert's recipes because the pot is so efficient.

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Posted (edited)

There was literally no liquid in it apart from the olive oil. and half a teaspoon of saffron water- a little bit of lemon juice too. All the liquid is either from the chicken or the onions I'm guessing. The onions are just one layer and they basically completely break down by the end of cooking. 


Edited by oofencocotte (log)

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First question: is your tagine glazed or unglazed? Not sure how much difference it makes but I've only used unglazed, and followed Moroccan recipes (including ones from the cook in your video) with great results.

 

If you look in the video, the sauce isn't exactly thick, it's still pretty liquid. I can't imagine an hour is enough to fully cook the chicken - I've found chicken takes about 2 hours, red meat a lot longer. My dishes never result in a "congealed" sauce, as you say, but as @JoNorvelleWalker points out, the onions should break down enough to thicken the sauce somewhat. This is pretty much par for the course re: what I encountered in Morocco, also. The one exception is tagine of kefta and eggs, where grated or blended tomatoes are added, and then it does get quite thick.

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Yes it's unglazed, I got it in Marrakech. It's very small though. The chicken is cooked through but I'll try longer. Congealed wasn't the best word :) I meant reduced and thickened. I see in the video that there's liquid still there, but she does say to keep reducing until all the liquid is gone. But it doesn't seem to be reducing at all for me. 

 

 

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I never had a tagine in Morocco where the liquid was gone completely - they're supposed to be eaten with bread directly from the tagine, so by the time you're done, the chicken and other ingredients plus the bread should leave a clean tagine!

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