Moroccan chicken tagine
Way back at the start of the year I signed up to a cooking class at a nearby college. Running over 10 weeks, it was a global flavours class featuring a traditional recipe from a different country each week. One of the weeks featured this chicken tagine from Morocco. I’ll admit that I originally wasn’t overly excited by the sound of it. You see I already have a recipe for a tagine that I’ve been using for years and absolutely love (click here for Fruity lamb tagine). My original recipe uses lamb instead of chicken and is really fruity and flavoursome. I wasn’t convinced that this recipe from the college would be any better but I grudgingly tried it.
I was really pleasantly surprised by how it turned out, the flavours were a lot mellower than my recipe and the spices more subtle but it was lovely and incredibly tasty, I’ve made it twice since. It also passed the boyfriend test and was gobbled up in no time at all with seconds being asked for.
So the moral of the story here, don’t always stick to recipes that you always use just because you are familiar with them. Try different version of you favourites and you might be pleasantly surprised.
This chicken tagine below comes the ‘World Tour of Cookery’ evening class at the City of Glasgow College. The college also does loads of other fabulous cookery classes which I would highly recommend.
100g dried apricots
100ml olive oil
4 chicken breasts (or 8 thigh pieces)
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp ras el hanout powder (I found some in Sainsburys)
1 tsp saffron threads
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 preserved lemon peel, chopped
3 tsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
350g dried couscous
50g pomegranate seeds
50g flaked almonds
25g fresh coriander, chopped
25g fresh mint, chopped
To make the chicken tagine, first finely dice the onion and garlic. Discard the flesh and seeds of the lemon and slice the peel into thin strips. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onions for 3-4 minutes until they soften.
Cut the chicken into large chunks and place into the pan along with the onion. Brown the chicken pieces for a couple of minutes before adding in the garlic, ras el hanout, saffron threads, ginger and black pepper. Cook out the spices for another minute or so before adding the lemon peel, chopped parsley and coriander and dried apricots.
Add enough cold water to the pot so it just covers the pot and cover with a lid. Turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 35 minutes until the chicken has cooked through and absorbed all of the flavours.
To make the couscous, place the dried couscous into a large heat proof bowl. Pour in bowling water so it just covers the couscous. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, after which the grains will have absorbed all of the water. Use a fork to fluff up the couscous before stirring in the salt, pomegranate seeds, flaked almonds, chopped mint and coriander. To serve, spoon the chicken tagine and sauce over a generous helping of the couscous.