Chicken (or lamb) tagine

Who doesn’t love something hot, saucy, steamy and exotic, especially on a cold night?

When it comes to food, chicken tagine will do nicely.

This is one of my favourite winter dishes. The flavours of preserved lemon, with spices like ginger and cardamom all slow cooked with chicken make it wonderfully exciting.

This version of chicken tagine has a gravy-like sauce to make rice and couscous ever so yummy. You can make this in a crockpot, or in the oven.

Chicken tagine with couscous

An awesome combination of flavours

Chicken/lamb tagine

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbs ground ginger
  • 4 large chicken pieces (or 1 kilo lamb chops, fat trimmed)
  • 1 onion chopped – optional
  • 1 clove garlic minced – optional
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or enough to cover)
  • 1/2 preserved lemon without pulp, chopped
  • 1/4 preserved lemon with pulp, chopped
  • pinch of saffron
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1/3 cup mixed raisins and dried chopped apricots, or more if preferred
  • 2 cans chick peas, butter beans or cannelini etc. (I use 2 for leftovers…)
  • 3 Tbs flour for thickening

Method

  1. Rub pepper and ginger over the chicken pieces.
  2. Heat some oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken on both sides.
  3. Add the chopped onion and garlic and fry with the chicken until onion softens.
  4. Transfer to a crockpot, or roasting dish if cooking in the oven.
  5. Add preserved lemon, saffron, cardamom pod, dried fruit and chopped carrot.
  6. Add stock to cover.
  7. Cover and cook in the crock pot on ‘High’ for 4.5 hours, or ‘Low’ for 6-7 hours; or cover roasting dish with foil and cook at 180 C for 1.5 hours in the oven. (If you are using chick peas, you can put them in at the beginning, otherwise put the beans in the last 30 minutes.)
  8. Before serving, thicken the sauce. Take the meat out and keep warm (to avoid breaking).
  9. Pour a cup of the liquid from the crockpot into a small saucepan on medium heat.
  10. Whisk in 3 Tbs flour and cook until golden to make a kind of roux.
  11. Add another cup of liquid to the saucepan and whisk until smooth and bring to a boil.
  12. Pour all this back into the crockpot and stir gently to combine and thicken the rest of the sauce. Put meat back in carefully to warm (you could debone the chops first).

Serve with rice or couscous, garnished with chopped coriander and parsley (and almonds if you want).

Lamb tagine

Great with lamb too

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