I had my friend Adrian over for dinner last night so I decided to cook this lovely little tagine. It’s quicker to do than a lot of tagine recipes and the flavours of the ginger, chilli and rosemary work really well together. As before I started the recipe off in a frying pan and then transferred it to the tagine and cooked it in the oven. If you haven’t got a tagine you can always use a large casserole dish. You could even do it on the hob in a large, covered saucepan. The recipe comes from the book ‘Tagine – Spicy stews from Morocco’ by Ghillie Basan.
2 tablespoons of olive oil and a knob of butter or ghee
1 onion, finely chopped
3 sprigs of rosemary, 1 finely chopped, the other two cut in half
40g of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1-2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
2 chicken thighs per person
70g of ready to eat, dried apricots
2 tablespoons of clear honey
1 x 400g tin of chopped plum tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Pre-heat the oven to 200.
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. Gently fry the onion, chopped rosemary, ginger and chillies until the onion starts to soften.
Stir in the halved rosemary sprigs and halved cinnamon sticks.
Add the chicken thighs and increase the heat to brown them on both sides.
Toss in the apricots and honey. Stir in the plum tomatoes and their juice.
Bring to the boil. Then transfer to the tagine. Ensure that the base of the tagine is covered by the liquid and submerge the apricots.
Cover with the tagine lid and pop the whole thing in the oven.
Cook for 35-40 minutes.
Garnish with basil leaves before serving
I served this with cous-cous with lemon and pine nuts. I toasted a tablespoon of pine nuts briefly in a small saucepan. I then popped them to one side and melted some butter in the saucepan. (At this point foot high flames leapt up from the saucepan and I had to quickly slam a lid over it to quench them. That has never happened before. I’ve no idea why it happened this time. Still, it added some drama!)
Quickly fry the cous cous in the butter. Then add the usual water as well as the lemon juice and leave for 3 minutes. Once the liquid is absorbed stir in the pine nuts and serve with the main tagine dish.
This is a lovely little recipe – easy to do and full of flavour. And quicker than a lot of tagine recipes which generally require slower cooking.
Sadly no photo of this meal though!