Chicken tagine with green herb couscous

Chicken tagine with green herb couscous

By
From
Moorish
Serves
4
Photographer
Mark Roper

Something a little different. This dish flies in the face of tagine wisdom, as it is quick to make, rather than a long, slow braise, where everything collapses into an intense sauce. The result is light, with fresh clean flavours, and it looks a treat served with the green-flecked couscous.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1.2kg free-range chicken pieces on the bone, skin removed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
100g plain flour
60ml olive oil

Sauce

Quantity Ingredient
40g currants
2 tablespoons sherry
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, finely diced
garlic, finely chopped
1 leek, finely diced
fennel
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon Ras al hanout
15 strands saffron, roasted and crushed
a drizzle honey
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 green chillies, halved, seeded and scraped
400g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm dice
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 lemon, juiced
parsley leaves

Couscous

Quantity Ingredient
250g couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
a knob unsalted butter

Method

  1. Season the chicken pieces with the salt. Mix the paprika with the flour and dust the chicken.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan, add the chicken pieces and sauté slowly until they are golden all over. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.
  3. To make the sauce, first soak the currants in the sherry for 10–15 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions, garlic, leek and fennel for 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the pepper, spices and honey and stir well. Add the tomatoes, green chillies and potatoes to the pan and pour on the stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender.
  4. Drain the currants and add them to the pan with the chicken. Cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the chicken is just done. Stir in the lemon juice and season with extra salt if necessary.
  5. Pour boiling water onto the cous cous, add the olive oil, salt and ras al hanout, and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Move the grains around from time to time so that they don’t stick and clump together.
  6. Fill the bottom of a steamer with 1 litre water, then add the aromatics. Put the cous cous into the top part of the steamer, cover and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and steam for 2 hours over a medium flame. Check the water level every 30 minutes and top up with boiling water if necessary, and fork through the cous cous to keep it loose.
  7. At the end of the 2 hours, check the consistency of the cous cous, which should have doubled in size. Each grain should be distinct and separate, not sticky, and they should be soft and tender.
  8. Keep warm until ready to serve, then stir through the finely chopped herbs and the butter.
  9. To serve, pile the couscous into a large, shallow serving dish. If you can, coax it into a tagine-shaped mound. Arrange the chicken pieces around the central pile of couscous, then pour the sauce all around and scatter on the parsley.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Moorish
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