Ultimate chicken tagine with dried apricots and lemon couscous

On the day like today I'm happy I'm a kind of food supplies hoarder :) Stucked at home with sick kids, my freezer, well supplied pantry and my spice drawer have saved me today from borring meal.

This ultimate chicken tagine with dried apricots and raisins is a real show stopper- aromatic, flavourful, mild and fruity. Served with lemon couscous, flaked almonds, pomegranate and fresh corriander will take you straight to hot and sunny Morocco.


Highly recommended!


Makes 3-4 servings:


Ingredients
  • 8 chicken thighs, boned and skinned
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100 grams dried apricots
  • 50 grams raisins
  • 2 onions (bigger ones), sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • pinch saffron (optionally)
  • 400 grams canned tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 250 ml veggie or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 50 grams flaked almonds
  • handful fresh corriander
  • 2-3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • oil
For the couscous
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt, pepper
  • water
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken in a bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, toss the chicken with the spices, cover with cling film and chill for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.


    Soak the apricots and raisins in a little of hot water and set aside for at least an hour. When soft, slice the apricots.


    Soak the saffron in a splash of hot water.


    Heat the oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan over a high heat. Add the chicken and brown all over (if necessary do it in batches). Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.


    On the same pan add more oil if needed and fry the onions over a medium heat for 4-6 minutes until soft, stirring through the garlic for the last minute.


    Add the saffron along with its water, and the tomatoes, tomato paste, honey, aprocots and raisins and soaking liquid. If the sauce is too thick add somePour  stock or water and bring to a steady simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes.


    Return the browned chicken pieces to the pan and carefully stir through. Simmer, partly covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.


    Put the couscous in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water- it should be about 1 cm above the couscous. Cover the bowl with cling film or a plate and leave for about 5 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the couscous appears plump. Use a fork to fluff up the couscous, then mix in the choppes parsley, lemon juice and zest from 1/2 lemon. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper.


    Serve the chicken tagine on top of a generous helping of couscous, with toasted flaked almonds, chopped fresh coriander and the some more lemon zest scattered over.


    Enjoy!