The inspiration for this recipe comes from a couple different places. One, when I lived in Paris there were a lot of Moroccan restaurants. On my days off from work. I would sometimes go into one of them and order a tagine. As I was a young cook I didn't have much money and it was a cheap way to fill my belly. Recently my family and I did a great trip to Morocco and we had a lot of different tagines during our visit. Since returning, I often try and recreate the flavors we had on our trip.
For the spice mix: In a small bowl, add the cumin, paprika, turmeric, coriander, ginger, cayenne and cinnamon. Stir to combine and set aside.
For the tagine: Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat until hot, then add the chicken, skin-side down, and sear until browned on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, place a large, family-sized cast-iron tagine on a low heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil plus the spice mix. Cook until the spices have bloomed and the oil is hot, 2 to 3 minutes, then add the carrots and onions and allow them to slightly soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas, sausage, garlic and seared chicken. Carefully add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Nestle in the olives and preserved lemon, then lower the heat and cover the tagine. Continue cooking over low heat for about 1 hour. Add more chicken broth slowly if needed (see Cook's Note).
For the couscous: Meanwhile, in a large metal bowl add the couscous, raisins, olive oil, turmeric and salt and mix together.
Bring the broth to a boil, then add to the couscous until it is covered and the liquid is a little more than 1/2 inch above the couscous. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until the liquid is absorbed, preferably in a warm part of the kitchen, 10 to 15 minutes.
Pour the couscous onto a very large platter. Remove the chicken from the tagine to a work surface. Pour the vegetables from the tagine around the couscous. Put the chicken on top of the vegetables and garnish the whole platter with the toasted almonds and parsley.
If using a clay tagine, always add warm chicken broth because clay tagines can crack if you add cold liquid to them.
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