Monday, 26 September 2011

AN EASY TAGINE FOR EARLY AUTUMN

Here's a simple yet flavoursome tagine that is easy to make and delicious to eat. It's perfect for early autumn, with its sweet and smokey hints of cumin, saffron and turmeric, yet light too. Quick to assemble, it can be put in the oven and forgotten for an hour. It even makes its own sauce while cooking. Serve with fluffy couscous or rice, and plenty of chopped fresh coriander. A tagine cooking vessel is not essential - though it does lend a certain authenticity to the dish!

Simple chicken tagine
1 chicken thigh (bone in) per person
1 large onion, finely sliced
About 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger, or bottled ginger. Or failing both, ground ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes or harissa paste
A couple of garlic cloves, chopped
A couple of carrots, cut into batons
A tin of chickpeas
Salt & pepper

Optional extras:
Half a preserved lemon, flesh removed and finely chopped
A handful of dried apricots or dates, chopped
A handful of olives
Chopped, fresh coriander

Put everything in the tagine (or Le Creuset type casserole dish), splash on some olive oil and some water. Season with salt and pepper. Put in a hot oven (200C) and cook for about an hour. About 10 mins before serving, I like to add couscous to the dish (quantity per person according to packet), put the lid back on and leave to steam on the stovepot before serving. Remove the lid and you will find a whole meal in a pot.

I like to serve this with a generous dollop of Bezalu Rose Harissa paste.

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