Chicken Tagine

Posted By Kerri

Time permitting, I like to have something cooked and in either the fridge or the freezer ready to reheat when we get home from work on a Monday night. It takes me a little while to get used to the fact that the day isn’t my own and, by the time I get home, I’m tired, hungry and severely lacking in creativity when it comes to all things kitchen-related. The best solution is to cook something on a Sunday that will generate leftovers but that isn’t always possible, which is how we came to find ourselves cooking chicken tagine at 8pm last night.

We’d been out for the day and planned to cook the chicken this evening, ready for tomorrow night. All we really wanted to do was enjoy the last of the weekend but we both knew that a small amount of effort would reward us in a big way when Monday evening came round and we didn’t need to cook anything. And it really is only a small amount of effort since this is so quick and easy to cook, especially with the modifications we made this time around.

Last time we cooked tagine, we followed all the rules of marinating the chicken in advance. We didn’t have time for that last night but neither of us thought it made a huge amount of difference to the finished dish. We didn’t have any fennel so substituted celery and fennel seeds which worked well, the aniseedy flavour was a little more dilute than last time but this gave the other flavours a chance to shine which I really appreciated since fresh fennel isn’t one of my favourite flavours. More olives and preserved lemons than last time too which upped the zing factor.

While it would have been nice to lounge around last night, watching bad TV or browsing the web, I’m really glad we made the effort to cook this. After the drama of the tube-strike today and the long journey home, it was bliss to heat something up quickly and sit down to something delicious.

Chicken Tagine
Serves Four

Spice Mix
1.5 tsps cumin seeds
1.5 tsps coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsps ginger
Salt and pepper

Olive oil
1 chicken, jointed
2 large onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 sticks celery, quartered
Pinch saffron
3 preserved lemons, deseeded and finely chopped
Handful of olives, stoned and halved
750ml chicken stock

Start by making up the spice mix. Toss the chicken in the spices and marinate overnight (if you have time) or for as long as you have.

Brown the chicken pieces in some oil over a medium heat. There’s no need to remove the chicken so when it is brown all over, just add the onions and allow them to soften (about 3 minutes) before adding the garlic and celery. Cook for another 3 minutes or so and then add the saffron, preserved lemons, olives and chicken stock.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 1.5 hours. This should be about the right amount of stock but check occasionally to make sure it hasn’t cooked out entirely.

Just before serving, add a handful of roughly chopped coriander.

We ate this with barley cous-cous and some roasted vegetables sprinkled with toasted almonds. Add the almonds, they make a huge difference.

Oct 4th, 2010

5 Comments to 'Chicken Tagine'

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  1. I lugged a tagine back from Morocco and haven’t used it that much so this post is reminding me that I really need to dust it off!
    .-= gourmet chick´s last blog ..Umbria – Gourmet Chick in Italy =-.

  2. Antonia said,

    Looks absolutely delicious. I love to sprinkle almonds over couscous and roasted veg too – it really does make all the difference.
    .-= Antonia´s last blog ..Caramelised apple cake =-.

  3. Kerri said,

    Thanks! It really did make a difference, not just to the flavour but also to the texture. Such a simple thing to do too but definitely worth it.

  4. Kerri said,

    We don’t use ours all the often, GC, but they are so pretty.

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