Serves 5 as a main course

1 1/2kg (3lb 5oz) oven-ready chicken
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
125g (4 1/2oz) purple or green cracked olives, stoned
1 1/2 pickled lemons
50g (1 3/4 oz) butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
100ml (3 1/2fl oz) prepared saffron
500ml (18fl oz) water
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaved parsley

1 1/2kg (3lb 5oz) oven-ready chicken
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
125g (4 1/2oz) purple or green cracked olives, stoned
1 1/2 pickled lemons
50g (1 3/4 oz) butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
100ml (3 1/2fl oz) prepared saffron
500ml (18fl oz) water
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaved parsley

Sprinkle the chicken with half the salt and pepper inside and outside and keep aside. Blanch the olives three times by plunging them into boiling water. Leave to boil for 30 seconds, rinse under running water and repeat these two operations twice more. Change the boiling water each time. Drain the olives and keep them aside in a colander.

Remove and discard the flesh and pips from the pickled lemons. Rinse the peel and dry with kitchen paper, then cut in large slices. Keep aside in a small dish.

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy saucepan, add the onion and fry gently, stirring frequently until softened and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, saffron, the remaining salt and pepper and water and stir well to mix the spices in thoroughly. Add the chicken and turn it over to coat it with the sauce. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and leave to cook slowly for 1 hour, turning the chicken over several times so that all sides soak up the sauce. If necessary, add a little hot water during the cooking.

Add the olives, pickled lemon, coriander and parsley, stir, cover and cook for 15 more minutes. Check the seasoning. Once the chicken is cooked, if the sauce is too runny, remove the chicken and keep it aside, covered with foil to keep it warm. Raise the heat and boil the sauce for 5 minutes to reduce it. Put the chicken in a warmed tagine plate.

Arrange the pickled lemon strips and olives on top. Stir the sauce and quickly pour it over the chicken. Cover the tagine dish and serve straight away, very hot.

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