Monday, 3 March 2014

Spicy Moroccan chicken tagine

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This easy and delicious recipe will fragrance your house with the spices of Morocco and take your tastebuds on a Moorish journey. Don’t be put off by the long prep time – that’s just time absorb the spice rub!
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Moroccan
Serves: 8
  • 2kg chicken pieces (I used drumsticks and thighs)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp paprika
  • 4 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 3 Tbsp turmeric
  • 5 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp argan oil (I used sunflower)
  • 6 large onions, finely diced
  • 9 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500ml tomato juice
  • 3x400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 300g dried apricots, halved
  • 150g raisins or sultanas
  • 2 preserved lemons, chopped
  • 200 g blanched flaked almonds
  • 2 tsp strands saffron, soaked in cold water
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp clear honey
  1. Place the cayenne pepper, black pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and toss together with half of the spice mix. Cover with cling film and leave overnight in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150C.
  3. Heat 3 Tbsp each of the olive oil and argan oil in a large casserole dish that can be used on the stove top or in the oven. Add the onions and the remaining spice mix and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the onions are soft but not coloured. Add the garlic for the final 3 minutes.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy griddle pan and when it is really hot place the chicken pieces skin side down in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes (use a splatter screen – it’s going to sizzle and spit!). Turn over and cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and place in the casserole dish.
  5. Pour 250ml tomato juice into the griddle pan and stir well, scraping up all the bits on the bottom, then pour the contents of the pan into the casserole dish.
  6. Add the remaining tomato juice, chopped tomatoes, apricots, preserved lemon, raisins, flaked almonds, saffron, stock and honey to the casserole dish. Bring to the boil, cover with a tightly fitting lid and cook in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
It makes rather a lot of sauce – and leftover sauce can be frozen and used later: just add chopped cooked chicken breasts and heat through.

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