CHICKEN TAGINE WITH DATES AND HONEY
BY ANTONIA HARALAMBIS
Another easy winter dish, based on a good old Womens Weekly recipe – updated for our modern tastebuds of course, but definitely a winner with my hungry teenagers. It’s a great dish to "double" and freeze in batches for quick mid-week meals. The quality of the dried spices makes a big difference to this dish, if you don’t have a wellstocked spice pantry, order online from Herbies spices.
Serve over wholewheat couscous mixed with currants and orange zest.
- 2 kg Chicken thigh fillets (flattened without skin, either on or off the bone)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tabs olive oil
- 2 tabs butter
- 4 brown onions finely sliced
- 8 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tsps cumin seeds
- 2 tsps ground cumin
- 2 tsps ground coriander seeds
- 2 tspns ground ginger
- 2 tspns ground turmeric
- 2 tspns ground cinnamon
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 -2 teaspoons dry chilli flakes (according to taste)
- 1 tspn ground nutmeg
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup of fresh medjool dates, seeded and halved
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves
- Zest of an orange
- 1 cup toasted flaked almonds
- 1 tin of chickpeas (rinsed well, drained and roasted with a spray of oil for 10mins in hot oven )
- 1 packet wholewheat couscous (cooked according to packet instructions )
- Handful of currants
Season chicken thighs well with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large frypan and cook chicken in batches till well browned on all sides.
Remove chicken to large casserole dish and keep warm.
Heat remaining oil and add butter and spices, stirring till butter is sizzling, scraping any excess chicken remnants off the pan.
Add sliced onions and stir, cooking till slightly brown but not burnt.
Tip cooked onion spice mix, stock and orange juice to the casserole dish with chicken, bring to boil, then turn down heat to simmer and cook covered for 1 hour.
Remove lid and add honey and dates and reduce sauce for another 30mins or until mixture is thickened slightly, stirring occasionally to make sure sauce does not stick to the base of the casserole. Check sauce for seasoning.
Serve over a bed of couscous tossed through with orange zest and currants. Scatter toasted chickpeas, toasted almonds, and fresh coriander over the tagine before serving.