The dried fruit and warm spices in this Middle Eastern stew make it a comforting and delicious choice for this time of year. It’s also easy to multiply the recipe, so it’s a useful one to know when it comes to feeding lots of people at a festive party. And it will make your house smell wonderful!
It can be served with rice, cous cous or – easiest of all – some torn up flat breads.
To serve 4:
8 chicken thighs
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
20g ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1½ tsp harissa paste
1 tbsp runny honey
450ml chicken stock
75g dried apricots
75g pitted prunes
4 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh coriander
In a big, heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat the oil over a low-medium heat, and add the onion and ginger until soft. (This should take about 5 minutes). Add the ground spices and fry for a further 3 minutes. Stir constantly or the spices will burn.
Stir in the tomatoes, garlic and harissa paste and increase the heat to medium. Add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring often. Add the chopped chicken thighs.
Quarter the dried fruit and add to the pan.
Cover and simmer gently over a medium–low heat for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
This is even better prepared the day before it’s eaten. You just need to leave it to cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Then just before you’re ready to eat, reheat the tagine for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is hot and the sauce bubbling.
Stir in about half the chopped coriander, and sprinkle the other half on top for serving.
Recipe brought to you by Elizabeth Caton, leading Event Caterers in Sussex. For more information on our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.