Free-range chicken and dried apri­cot tagine

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

SERVES 4-6 PREP AND COOK TIME 2 HOURS (+ STAND­ING TIME)

1.5kg free-range chicken thigh fil­lets, cut into 4cm-5cm pieces

1 ta­ble­spoon ras el hanout (see Mag­gie’s tips)

¼ cup (40g) blanched al­monds 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 large (200g) brown onion, chopped coarsely

2 cloves gar­lic, chopped coarsely pinch saf­fron threads

1 cin­na­mon stick

¼ cup (60ml) wa­ter

¾ cup (100g) dried apri­cots

½ cup (100g) prunes, pit­ted

2 tea­spoons rose­wa­ter

¼ cup (55g) firmly packed brown sugar 1 ta­ble­spoon chopped fresh flat-leaf pars­ley freekeh (cracked green wheat) or cous­cous, to serve 1 Rub chicken with ras el hanout in a medium bowl; cover with plas­tic wrap. Stand at room tem­per­a­ture for 30 min­utes. 2 Pre­heat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).

3 Place nuts on an oven tray. Roast for 8 min­utes or un­til golden; cool.

4 Re­duce oven tem­per­a­ture to 190°C (170°C fan-forced). Heat half the oil in a heavy-based fry­ing pan over medi­um­low heat; cook the onion and gar­lic, stir­ring, for 6 min­utes or un­til soft but not coloured. Add the saf­fron; trans­fer mix­ture to a large flame­proof casse­role dish with a tight-fit­ting lid.

5 Heat re­main­ing oil in the same pan; cook chicken in batches, sea­son­ing with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pep­per as you go, un­til browned all over. 6 Add the chicken, cin­na­mon and wa­ter to the casse­role dish; cover. Trans­fer to the oven; cook for 30 min­utes.

7 Mean­while, put the apri­cots, prunes, rose­wa­ter and sugar in a small saucepan. Add 1 cup of wa­ter; bring to the boil. Re­duce the heat to low and sim­mer, un­cov­ered, for 10 min­utes or un­til the fruit plumps up. The fruit will ab­sorb al­most all of the liq­uid.

8 Add the dried fruit mix­ture to chicken mix­ture; stir to com­bine. Re­turn to oven for another 20-30 min­utes or un­til the chicken is ten­der, but not fall­ing apart. You may find there is a lot of liq­uid left over – if so, re­move the chicken and fruit from the pan with a slot­ted spoon. Bring the liq­uid to the boil on the stove; boil, un­cov­ered, un­til a lit­tle syrupy. Re­turn chicken and fruit to pan; sea­son to taste. 9 Spoon the chicken mix­ture into serv­ing bowls; scat­ter with the nuts and pars­ley. Serve with freekeh or cous­cous pre­pared fol­low­ing packet in­struc­tions, if de­sired. Suit­able to freeze. Not suit­able to mi­crowave.

Free-range chicken and dried apri­cot tagine

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