We recently ate a delicious tagine made with prunes and apricots, so we decided to create our own version. Typically tagine requires the meat to be marinated (ideally overnight), but in our somewhat last-minute approach, we realised there was no time for this so had to improvise. The result is still surprisingly delicious, with aromatic flavours reminiscent of Morocco and soft meat falling off the bone.
The recipe comfortably serves 4 people with couscous (and baked vegetables such as aubergine and courgette if you’re inclined to cook these also).
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hours 30 minutes
- 6 chicken thighs on the bone – skin on
- 1 large onion – finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves – finely chopped
- ½ lemon – juice only
- 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- pinch of saffron
- 300ml chicken stock
- 200g prunes
- 200g apricots
- 100g flaked almonds
- handful of fresh coriander – chopped
- handful of flat-leaf parsley – chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC, then in a large casserole dish add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat on the hob.
- Once the oil has heated and is shimmering, add the chicken thighs and fry until just golden on all sides. Remove the chicken and set aside for a few minutes.
- Add the finely chopped onions to the casserole dish and fry over a low heat for a couple of minutes until starting to soften. Add the chopped garlic, lemon juice, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and turmeric. Fry for a further minute, stirring together to allow the spices to release their aromas.
- Re-introduce the chicken to the casserole dish, then add the saffron and chicken stock. Give one further stir, add the lid and cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
- After that time, add the apricots and prunes with just less than half of the chopped coriander and parsley. Replace the lid and cook in the oven for a further 40 minutes.
- In the final few minutes of cooking, lightly toast the flaked almonds – no oil required. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Transfer the food to a tagine dish, if you have one, then sprinkle with the flaked almonds, remaining chopped coriander and parsley. Add the traditional chimney-like lid and serve with lightly scented couscous.