Friday, 6 June 2014
Quicky Quicky Chicky Chicken Tagine
I bought a tagine once. It was half price and to be honest it isn't very Moroccan looking; maybe I will buy one of those exotic looking glazed lapis blue affairs sometime but at the moment mine is just cream coloured and sits on the top of my cookbook shelf - it's a kind of homage to the real thing, but not the real thing; not quite.
And it is a bit like that with this recipe. It isn't your full on, heady with spice tagine which tantalises the senses, but it kind of does the job when you haven't got the time to devote to the slow steady cooking that a real tagine might require (I realise that once all the ingredients are in, the magic takes place whilst I am away doing something else; my presence isn't necessarily required, of course, but when I fall in the house at 5pm or whatever, I need to have a meal that is going to be served before 8pm, or else the biscuit tin gets it...) so this is a good enough homage to Morocco whilst you are in your kitchen in the UK, dealing with kids and homework and the washing and....(insert other menial and but sadly necessary tasks here).
This recipe is loosely based on the one I found on a loose page of a leaflet that came with a food magazine. It looks as though it might have been 'Good Food' magazine, but other than that, I know little. My alterations are that I doubled the onion content, put in some ras el hanout spice seasoning in to the sautéing onions and used chicken stock instead of water. With some couscous this was really, really rather nice...
Quick Chicken Tagine
2 tbsp olive oil
8 skinless boneless chicken thighs, halved if large
2 onions, chopped
2 tsp grated fresh root ginger
2 tsp ras el hanout
150ml chicken stock
pinch saffron or turmeric (I used saffron)
1 tbsp honey
400g carrots, cut into sticks (which I would have used but I didn't have any!!)
small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
lemon wedges, to serve
Heat the oil in a large, wide pan with a lid, add the chicken, then fry quickly until lightly coloured. Add the onion and ginger, then fry for a further 2 mins. Add the ras el hanout and cook out until it becomes fragrant.
Add the chicken stock, the saffron, honey and carrots, if you have any that is, season, then stir well. Bring to the boil, cover tightly, then simmer for 30 mins until the chicken is tender. Uncover and increase the heat for about 5 to 10 mins to reduce the sauce to the consistency you require. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.
I served this with (forgive me!!) ready made couscous salad which you just zap in the microwave. And it's as good as anything I could make from the packet. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it.