For a taste of Morocco, you can’t beat a tagine, and this is a wonderful variation on the theme. The chickpeas give the tagine a great texture and the preserved lemon and sultanas add a fabulous fruity flavour. A whole smorgasbord of spices work their magic to make this dish a marvellously, hearty meal. Warm up those winter nights with this ideal comfort food, to give you a rosy glow. Once prepared, you can sit back and let the casserole dish do the work – slow cooked for a couple of hours, it makes a superb supper.
- 6 chicken breasts cut into 2cm cubes
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 1tsp cayenne pepper
- 1tsp paprika
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- ½tsp ground coriander
- ½tsp ground cumin
- ½tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 2 large onions, diced
- 2½cm piece of ginger, grated
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
- 600ml of chicken stock
- 1tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
- 2tbsp honey
- 1 large preserved lemon (or 2 small ones), cut into chunks
- 115g sultanas
- A little salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 x 400g can of cooked chickpeas
- 115g roasted, flaked almonds
Put the chicken in a bowl with 1tbsp of the olive oil and the cayenne pepper, paprika, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cloves. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly. Cover the bowl and leave to marinate for at least an hour, or, if possible, leave in the fridge overnight.
Place the marinated chicken in a large casserole dish and fry in 2tbsps of olive oil until it browns. Remove the chicken from the dish and set aside.
Use the casserole dish to fry the onions until they are translucent. Add the fresh ginger and garlic and cook for a further 3 mins.
Return the chicken to the casserole dish and add the tinned tomatoes, chicken stock, sundried tomato paste, honey, preserved lemons and sultanas.
Season the mixture with a little salt and black pepper and bring to the boil, then cover the dish with a lid and turn the heat down low. Simmer the tagine for 2 hrs, stirring from time to time.
10 mins before the end of cooking, add the chickpeas and, if there is any excess liquid, leave the lid off to reduce the mixture to a thicker consistency.
Before serving, sprinkle the roasted, flaked almonds over the top.
Serve with couscous and yoghurt.
For an extra fruity, Moroccan touch, sprinkle the top with pomegranate seeds as well as roasted almonds.