While this tagine tastes rather sumptuous, it is actually ideal as either a simple supper (any leftovers are for lunch tomorrow), and a perfect dinner party recipe as it is simple to prepare ahead; served with a bejewelled vegetable couscous, spicy chickpeas (see tip below) and a variety of refreshing salads, you can get everything ready in advance, ready to serve when your guests arrive, without having to spend too much time in the kitchen.
The friend who sent me this recipe recommends serving it with a light mango and peach salad (recipe below). I am guessing that it is not strictly authentic, but definitely brings another hint of the magical East.
Skill level: Easy
c. 880g chicken breasts, skinned and cut into 3cm chunks
2 x medium onions, finely sliced
4 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp chilli powder
375ml chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup seedless dates, halved
¼ cup of toasted almonds
1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 x small mango, roughly chopped
3 x peaches, roughly chopped
1 x small avocado, peeled and roughly chopped
¼ x red onion, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
fresh coriander, finely chopped, to taste
- Heat oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
- Fry the chicken in oil in a large sauce pan, until lightly browned. (Don’t overcrowd the pan as otherwise the chicken will just stew; you may need to do this in batches). Set aside.
- Cook the onion, garlic and spices together until soft (about 10 minutes), then return the chicken and add the stock, water and bring to the boil.
- Transfer to a casserole dish and bake, covered, for 1 hour in the oven. Uncover and bake for a further 45 minutes until the liquid has reduced. Check that it doesn’t dry out too much.
- Stir in the dates, honey and almonds and warm through. (If anyone doesn’t like nuts, these can be served separately).
- Sprinkle with coriander and serve with the peach and mango salad (see below).
- To make the salad, toss the mango, peaches, avocado, red onion and lime juice in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with fresh coriander.
I serve all of my Middle Eastern-style dishes with an accompaniment of spicy chickpeas. This is essentially my Moroccan harira soup recipe, but using less liquid!