Thursday, 7 April 2011

Spicy chicken tagine with apricots, rosemary and ginger

Let me start by thanking my friend Tom for this recipe. I was telling him that I am preserving some lemons at home and he kindly brought in this book called Tagine, spicy stews from Morocco. At least every second recipe in here calls for preserved lemons. So in about a month when they are finally ready I will be able to test some of them out.

Also, despite the name of the book and the recipe you don't need a tagine. A heavy cast iron pan is perfect.

Luckily this recipe doesn't call for preserved lemons!

  • 2tbs olive oil and a knob of butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary (1 sprig chopped the rest cut in half)
  • 40g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 chicken breast pieces (recipe calls for thigh)
  • 175g  dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • sea salt and pepper
  • small bunch of fresh basil leaves
1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based casserole or a tagine (good for you if you have a tagine). Stir in the onion, chopped rosemary, ginger and chillies and saute until the onion begins to soften. About 5 minutes.
2. Add the halved rosemary sprigs and the cinnamon sticks.
3. Add the chicken breast and brown on both sides (move aside the onion mixture if you have to so you have room to brown the chicken.
4. Toss in the apricots and honey, then stir in the can of tomatoes + another can of water.
5. Bring liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes.
The recipe didn't do this part but I think it really adds to the overall dish.
6. Remove the chicken, rosemary sprigs and cinnamon sticks. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
7. Add another tin of water and bring to the boil.
8. Add 2 cups of couscous, stir then turn off and cover for 5 minutes. Season with salt.
9. Serve the chicken over the couscous with shredded basil on top.

Yum, easy and delicious!

1 comment:

  1. First I thought that tajine was an excotic spice I'd never heard of, but as many times before not only I get a gastronomical enjoyment from this blog, but also a great educational value.
    Here is another Wikipedia article for other dilletante readers:
    A tajine or tagine is a North African dish, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish, known as Tavvas, is found in the cuisine of Cyprus. The traditional tajine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay, which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts: a base unit that is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that rests inside the base during cooking. The cover is so designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving.