Neil and I had Alberto over for dinner on Monday evening, and so I cooked this for Alberto and I (Neil was having pasta.) as I fancied something with a Moroccan influence. And, if I’m going to be honest, I had some butternut squash that needed using! Tasty, easy to do and full of flavour. As ever, I started it off in a large saucepan on the hob and then transferred it to a tagine in the oven.
4 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
2 tablespoons of olive oil
100g of shallots, peeled
2 garlic cloves, sliced
4cm piece of ginger, grated
8 large, pitted green olives, halved
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds, lightly crushed
2 small cinnamon sticks
A large pinch of saffron threads
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
A pinch of crushed dried chilli
375g of peeled butternut squash, cut into chunks
500ml of chicken stock
1 rounded tablespoon of clear honey
2 tablespoons of roughly chopped coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 180
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook for 3 minutes, turn and cook for a further 3 minutes until browned well all over.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Lower heat slightly, add the whole shallots to the pan and cook until golden brown all over. Add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Then add all the spices and cooking for 1 minute more.
Add the butternut squash to the pan and stir to coat in the spices. Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Then remove from the heat and transfer the contents of the pan to the tagine.
Arrange the chicken, skin side up, on top of the shallots and squash – at least half of the chicken should be submerged in the liquid. Drizzle the honey over the dish.
Pop the lid on the tagine and transfer to the oven. Cook for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes remove from the oven, add the halved olives to the tagine and stir in. Pop the lid back on, return the tagine to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Once cooked garnish with chopped coriander and serve with lemon couscous, and maybe some garlic flatbread.