Chicken and Squash Tagine

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A delicious and fragrant dish that is easy to cook. Serve with Middle Eastern breads and couscous.Serves: 6

 

Ingredients

  • 10 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 banana shallots, peeled and sliced lengthways
  • 400g peeled butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1.5cm chunks
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into thick round slices
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 4cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • large pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch crushed dried chilli
  • 15 dried apricots, cut in half
  • 12 kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • Peel of half a preserved lemon, thinly sliced
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 2 rounded tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds for garnishing
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C/gas 4.
  2. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof casserole dish.
  3. Slash the skin on each thigh a couple of times and add the chicken, skin-side down, and brown well, all over – you can do it in batches. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Lower heat slightly, add the shallots to the pan and cook until golden and soft but not burnt.
  5. Add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for 30 seconds before adding all the spices and cooking for 1 minute more.
  6. Now add the butternut squash into the pan and stir to coat in the spices.
  7. Pour over the stock and mix in the tomato purée,  dried apricots, olives, and preserved lemon rind,
  8. Arrange the chicken, skin side uppermost, on top of the shallots and squash and spice mix.
  9. Drizzle the honey over the thighs. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and then transfer to the oven to bake for 40 minutes until tender.
  10. Scatter with the coriander and pomegranate seeds, and serve with couscous and a bowl of harissa.

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