Wednesday 25 April 2012

Friday favourites - easy chicken tagine

This is from Nigel Slater, via the BBC, and I could find all of the ingredients in the supermarket. I used preserved lemons – I got these in the Carrefour at the Dreve Rochelle in Waterloo, in the ‘foreign foods’ section. You can also get them in any North African corner shops, should you have one nearby.

For the spice paste
2-3 large, juicy garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped
pinch sea salt flakes
2-3 good pinches smoked paprika
2-3 good pinches ground turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
glug olive or groundnut oil

For the casserole
6 large chicken thighs, bone in and skin on (I used chicken three breasts cut into about 5 pieces each to feed four of us)
good glug of olive oil
onions, peeled, roughly chopped
lemon, cut in half, thinly sliced (I used a preserved lemon - make sure you rince it first)
pinch of saffron strands (I had none, so I just left this out)
handful green olives, pits removed
small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

For the spice paste, crush the garlic cloves and sea salt with a pestle in a mortar. Add the smoked paprika, turmeric and cumin seeds and grind to a paste. Add just enough olive or groundnut oil to make the paste runny enough to pour, but thick enough to coat the chicken.

Put the chicken into a bowl, pour the spice paste over them and toss well to coat all of the meat. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for as long as time allows, overnight if possible.
The paste, not pourable but thick
Heat the olive oil in a large shallow pan, then cook the onions until softened. Add the chicken thighs and cook until coloured lightly on both sides. Add the lemon slices and pour in enough water to come halfway up the chicken pieces. Stir in the saffron, if you're using it, then season well, cover with a lid and simmer for about 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Add the olives and fresh coriander and serve.
Chicken tagine

Bulgur with green beans
Bulgur wheat from Delhaize
I served this with some bulgur, made with lots of chopped green beans cooked off a bit first in water. 

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