Guinea Hen Olive and Lemon Tagine

Guinea Hen Olive and Lemon Tagine

After reading an article in the Times last fall about brine curing your own olives, I made a batch in a large mason jar. They’re good, but I’m olived out at this point and I’ve been looking for ways to cook with them. Here’s a 1 pot roast chicken that makes its own sauce which is great on a bed off cous cous or quinoa.

By cooking this in a low temperature oven in a sealed pot, there’s no need to add any liquid. As the chicken and vegetables cook, they release juices which create a wonderful undiluted sauce. I use a Guinea Hen which is an African bird that is somewhere between a chicken and a pheasant. It’s firm but tender meat is much tastier than the bland chickens we get in grocery stores without being too gamey. If you can find a fresh one at a reasonable price, give it a try sometime (I get mine at the Union Square Green market in NYC).

Brine cured olives and lemons" title="Brine cured olives and lemons

This is also a great base recipe to use for making other pot roasted chickens using other herbs and spices. A mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onions) with some herbs de Proven├že (rosemary, thyme, lavender and bay leaves) makes for a great French roast chicken that can be served with a crusty baguette. I usually make this on a weekend, then throw the bones and remaining meat into a pot with some water and make chicken stock which I then use throughout the week.

Guinea Hen Olive and Lemon Tagine

spice rub
1 Tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

for tagine
1 4 lbs guinea hen or chicken
1 Tbs good quality olive oil
1 Tbs minced ginger
1 C onions chopped
1 C other aromatics such as celery, fennel, or parsnips chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 preserved lemon cut into wedges
1/2 C whole green olives
1 Tbs honey

Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Clean the bird well and pat dry. Remove any extra fat then rub both the inside and outside with the spice rub. Tuck the wings under the bird.

Heat a dutch oven or other heavy lidded pot big enough to hold the bird until hot. Add the oil and ginger, swirl, then add the bird, breast side down. Allow it to brown well on that side ,then flip it over, adding the veggies and cinnamon stick all around the bird. Allow it to brown on that side, then add the lemon, olives and honey.

Cover the pot with a layer of aluminum foil (it acts as a seal), then put the lid on securely. Place it in the oven and cook the chicken till an instant read thermometer reads 175 when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh this should take about 75 minutes for a 4 lbs bird.

Serve on a bed of cous cous or quinoa mixed with slivered almonds.

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    This looks amazing – I’m sure the flavour would be heavenly with all those spices and things. Gorgeous photos, too :)

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    This looks amazing – I’m sure the flavour would be heavenly with all those spices and things. Gorgeous photos, too :)

  • Marc

    Thanks Laura, I have great fun with taking this dish from one continent to another just by changing the spices. Next time I may go Asian with some star anise, orange peel and soy sauce.

  • Marc

    Thanks Laura, I have great fun with taking this dish from one continent to another just by changing the spices. Next time I may go Asian with some star anise, orange peel and soy sauce.

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    oh, now you’ve gone and put thoughts abt guinea hen in my head. that’s definitely down on my shopping list! awesome photo x

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    oh, now you’ve gone and put thoughts abt guinea hen in my head. that’s definitely down on my shopping list! awesome photo x

  • http://chefsgonewild.blogspot.com/ Zenchef

    Oh i love tagine. I like your spice rub and everything else, it looks like a really good recipe. I’ve been wanting to buy myself a tagine dish for the longest time maybe this is a sign i should make the splurge. hehe.

  • http://chefsgonewild.blogspot.com Zenchef

    Oh i love tagine. I like your spice rub and everything else, it looks like a really good recipe. I’ve been wanting to buy myself a tagine dish for the longest time maybe this is a sign i should make the splurge. hehe.

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  • Lizzie

    The Moroccan spice mix Ras-El-Hanout (now fairly widely available in the UK in supermarkets) is a flowery, aromatic alternative to the rub, having rose petals as well as spices in the blend. I have made this with joints of pheasant as well as whole birds for large parties, ideal as it can be made in advance and re-heated. Like all casseroles, endless varieties can be created; try dried apricots (the organic, dark ones) and dates for a true Moroccan flavour.

  • http://woodworking-books.org Woodworking Project Plans

    It looks like a really good recipe.

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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