Entertaining is one of my favourite things to do, especially once the weather warms up! There is nothing better than sitting outside in the backyard or on the patio with friends, enjoying good food and drink! Wouldn’t you agree?
Are you more the entertaining type, or the type that prefers to be entertained? I’m definitely the former, and I’ve shared a few entertaining guides in the past. I always look at entertaining as a way to get creative and experiment with a new theme or a new recipe! It can also be a great way to collaborate with a friend or loved one.
My friends, Abhishek and Nick, and I have all been proudly working with Sunkist this year and have been showcasing how each of us loves to incorporate citrus into moments of true sharing and connection (you can catch a glimpse of some of these moments in my Sunkist Instagram story highlight here). So, the three of us decided to get together to show you how simple it can be to create your own #ShareWhatsReal moment by throwing a Moroccan-inspired citrus party. Btw, both Abhi and Nick are super talented creators, and I highly encourage you to give them a follow and check out their blog posts (here and here), as they share different aspects of our Moroccan-inspired citrus party!
Since I took the lead on preparing the main course for our party, in today’s post, I’ll be sharing the recipe to the Chicken Tagine with fresh Sunkist lemons & Jeweled Rice with Candied Sunkist lemons and Sunkist Navel oranges I put together for our party. I am so pleased with how both of these dishes turned out, and the 3 of us totally enjoyed feasting on them at our Moroccan-inspired citrus party!
Chicken Tagine & Jeweled Rice Recipes
I’ve been obsessed with Moroccan food, ever since I visited Morocco over a decade ago. I was first introduced to the tagine at that time and loved the idea of being able to eat out of the same vessel that you prepare the dish in. The technology behind the tagine is brilliant – a mini oven is essentially created on the inside of the earthenware dome. The steam generated when the food cooks rises to the top of the dome and then falls back down, so the food continuously bastes and the ingredients are kept moist. It’s perfect for achieving a beautiful, soft or braised consistency on meats.
Sunkist Lemons are a star ingredient in a chicken tagine! Using fresh lemon juice and fresh slices of lemon in the dish totally enhance and elevate it – not to mention, give it such an aromatic scent! Since Moroccan food is prepared using a lot of spices, the acidity from the Sunkist lemon cuts through the spice and gives it a refreshing flavour! If they’re in season, Sunkist Meyer lemons would be an awesome substitute (or addition) to use in the tagine.
And since you’re obviously going to want something to soak up all the delicious sauce from the chicken tagine, I figured a jeweled rice would be the best accompaniment! I consider rice to be a bit of a blank canvas and a great opportunity to get creative with flavours and ingredients. For my jeweled rice, I decided to candy some Sunkist lemons and Sunkist Navel oranges very simply, and then layer them on top of the rice, along with some toasted almonds and pistachios.
So, without further ado, here is the recipe for my chicken tagine and jeweled rice.
Chicken Tagine & Jeweled Rice
- 4 whole chicken legs cut in 1/2 to separate drumsticks from thighs, or you could purchase drumsticks and thighs separately
- 4 Sunkist lemons
- 2 Sunkist oranges
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed Sunkist lemon juice
- 3 medium onions
- 3 cups long-grain rice
- 8 cloves garlic finely minced or crushed
- 8 green olives pitted
- 8 calamata olives pitted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1/4 tsp. saffron threads finely minced or pulverized
- 1/3 cup pistachios shelled
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tsp. freshly grated Sunkist orange zest
- ground cardamom
- ground cumin
- ground ginger
- ground cinnamon
- ground turmeric
- crushed red pepper flakes
- salt & black pepper to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
- flat-leaf parsley
- To prepare the chicken: first wash and dry the chicken. In a large bowl, add chicken, saffron, 1 tsp. sweet paprika, 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric, 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, salt & black pepper to taste. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- To make the tagine: in a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the chicken on all sides in 3 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil. Once browned, remove chicken from the skillet, put on a platter, and set aside. In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and saute 2 onions that have been chopped until translucent (about 10-15 minutes). Remove onions from skillet and add to the tagine. Place chicken on top. Add chicken stock, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, green and calamata olives, and 2 lemons cut into slices about 1/8" thick. Bring tagine to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to low, cover and then let simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken has become tender. When ready to serve, uncover and sprinkle 1 tbsp. fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley.
- To make the candied citrus: in a medium-sized saucepan, bring 3/4 cup granulated sugar to a boil with 3/4 water, stirring frequently so the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and add slices of 2 lemons and 2 oranges, cut to about 1/8" thick. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Remove citrus slices and let cool on a baking rack. You can sprinkle more granulated sugar on top of citrus slices, if desired.
- To make the jeweled rice: first toast the pistachios and slivered almonds in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350 degrees F for 6-8 minutes (checking them to ensure they don't burn). Remove from oven, let cool, and then coarsely chop the pistachios. In a large pot, saute 1 onion and 3 cloves of garlic that have been finely chopped in 3 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat, until softened. Add rice, 3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, 3/4 tsp. ground cardamom, 3/4 tsp. ground cumin, 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. ground cardamom, salt & black pepper to taste. Stir to coat the rice with the spices and cook until some grains become translucent (about 5 minutes). Add 3 3/4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and then simmer until rice is tender (about 15 minutes). Once finished, remove pot from the heat, add butter and orange zest and fluff with a fork. Cover the rice and let steam for another 10 minutes. Once finished arrange the rice on a platter with rows of pistachios and almonds, and candied citrus. Top with a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley.
- Serve and enjoy!
I had such an amazing time collaborating with Abhishek and Nick, and seeing our Moroccan-inspired citrus party come to life! Don’t forget to check out their blogs to learn more about our party and how we were able to #ShareWhatsReal with Sunkist!
*This post was sponsored by Sunkist. However, all thoughts and opinions herein are thoroughly my own.