Tagine is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day, so it is ideal for parties as you can make it in advance and let the flavours mature overnight. You can also make the couscous the day before, just prepare the garnishes on the day of the party.
Serves: 6 - 8
Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 300ml chicken stock
- 150g dried Prunes
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the cous cous:
- 300g couscous
- 400ml boiling hot chicken stock
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
- ½ red onion, finely sliced
- 150g flaked almonds, toasted
- Large bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Large bunch coriander, chopped
- 2 pomegranates, seeds only
- Heat the oil in a large casserole pot and over a high heat, fry the chicken pieces in batches, seasoning with sea salt & black pepper as you go.
- Remove the chicken and set aside - no need to wash your pot, keep all the flavour from your cooked chicken in the casserole pot.
- Add the red onion to the casserole pot and sprinkle with salt to help release the liquid from the onions. Fry gently for 5 minutes over the same high heat, and as the onions start to sweat, use a wooden spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add a splash of water to prevent them from burning.
- Add the garlic and spices and cook for a minute more then add the honey, tomatoes, stock and plenty of seasoning.
- Return the chicken to the casserole pot.
- Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook very gently, for 45 minutes until reduced and the chicken is very tender. Add the prunes and cook for 15 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, add the couscous to a large wide bowl. Pour over the boiling hot stock and cover with a tea towel. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before fluffing up the grains with a fork.
- Whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl and season well, before combining with the cous cous.
- When ready to serve, stir in your chopped cucumber, red onion, parsley, coriander, flaked almonds and pomegranate seeds. Alternatively, set up lots of little bowls of the garnish, serve the couscous with the tagine and allow guests to help themselves to all the trimmings.