Chicken Tagine with Spring Vegetables


1 lemon, halved
6 medium artichokes, stems trimmed to 1/2 inch

1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 lb onions, chopped
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tbsp (packed) grated lemon peel
1 Tbsp Ground Coriander
2 tsp Hungarian Sweet Paprika
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
8 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
8 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
8 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

4 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
4 Cups low-salt chicken broth
3 fresh fennel bulbs, trimmed, bulbs quartered vertically
5 large carrots (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cut into 1-inch lengths


Fill large bowl with water; squeeze in juice from lemon. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, break off enough outer leaves to expose pale green leaves. Trim dark green areas off stem and base. Quarter artichoke lengthwise; trim artichoke quarters to 1-1/2-inch lengths. Scrape out choke; drop quarters into lemon water.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add next 7 ingredients and 6 Tbsp each of the parsley, dill, and mint; sauté 3 minutes longer. Scrape contents of skillet into heavy large pot; reserve skillet.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 of the chicken and sauté until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to pot with onion mixture. Repeat with remaining chicken in 2 more batches, adding more oil by tablespoonfuls if needed. Add chicken broth to skillet; bring broth to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Transfer broth to pot; add fresh fennel and carrots. Drain artichokes and add to pot.

Bring tagine to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and let mixture simmer until chicken is almost tender, about 20 minutes.

Uncover the pot and simmer until chicken and all vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes longer.

Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken and vegetables to large bowl. Boil remaining sauce in the pan until reduced enough to coat spoon, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Return chicken and vegetables to sauce. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated.)

If cooked ahead of time, re-warm tagine over medium heat. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp each of parsley, dill, and mint just before serving.

Yield: Serves about 8 people.