Saturday, August 6, 2011

Recipe: Chicken and Chickpea Tagine

Ah, the tagine- that beautiful moroccan spiced dish. It's actually the name of the pot you cook it in, rather than the name of the actual recipe- a tagine is basically like a pointy casserole. I think tagines really appeal to me, because they dont tend to be spicy- they are usually either sweet, cause of the cinnamon and dried fruit, or in some cases tangy (in the ones that use olives and preserved lemons). Whenever someone asks me what a tagine is, i basically say that its a moroccan curry- i figure thats a good explanation. You can get harrissa paste at most big supermarkets these days- its basically a paste made of vegetable, chilli and spices. If you cant find it, don't worry, it's not essential, but i have found that it does give the dish a bit of an oomph.

Chicken and Chickpea Tagine (serves 2)

2 tbsp olive oil
½ white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Large Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
350g diced chicken breast
1 rounde d tsp Harissa paste
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tin chickpeas, drained
10 dried apricots, quartered
450ml vegetable stock
150ml semi skimmed milk
Natural yoghurt and extra coriander as garnishes (optional)

1. Fry the onion, garlic, carrots and a couple of tbsps of the fresh coriander in the olive oil for 4 minutes on a medium heat. Add the chicken and Harissa paste and cook for a further 5 minutes.
2. Add the other spices and chickpeas, and cook for a couple of minutes. Add all the other ingredients (except garnishes) and cook, stirring occasionally for 20-25 minutes.
3. Season to taste and serve, over rice or couscous, with some extra coriander and natural yoghurt on top.

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