Chicken Tagine Smothered in Spicy Eggplant Puree (Tagine Mderbel)
Here chicken (or lamb, if you prefer) simmers in a sauce of garlic, ginger, saffron and black pepper until it is so tender it is falling off the bone. Then the chicken is piled in the center of a dish and topped with a thick, intensely flavored "jam" made from fried eggplant that has been crushed with spices and garlic, refried with fresh tomatoes and enriched with some of the sauce from the chicken. The remaining sauce is added to the dish, and the tagine is reheated to blend the flavors. Though absolutely delicious, this dish is not at all subtle.