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Moroccan chicken tagine

Fragrant and packed with flavour and texture, this fruity tagine will instantly transport you to North Africa. Slow cooked with green olives, preserved lemons and juicy apricots, one pot, and healthy... it sells itself!

I've teamed this up with a classic tabbouleh side dish, jewelled with cucumber, tomatoes and plenty of mint and parsley.

Here's how.......

Ingredients for Tagine

6-8 chicken thighs (8 to serve 4)

120g green pitted olives

100g dried apricots roughly chopped

1 tin drained chick peas

1 large onion sliced

2 cloves garlic chopped

500ml chicken stock

2 chopped preserved lemons

handful flaked almonds

handful chopped pistachios

2 tbsp honey

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp dried ginger

1 tsp dried mint

handful torn mint and coriander

Ingredients for Tabbouleh

130g bulgur wheat

260ml hot chicken stock

large handful chopped parsley

large handful chopped mint

1/2 red onion finely chopped

1/2 cucumber deseeded and finely chopped

2 large tomatoes deseeded and finely chopped

good glug of good olive oil

pinch sea salt

juice of 1 lime

Method for Tagine

Don't worry if you don't have a traditional tagine pot, a regular casserole dish will work just fine.

preheat oven to 175c

Heat sunflower oil in a frying pan, when searing hot add chicken skin side down and cook until golden and crispy, turn over and seal the other side. (they don't need to be cooked through at this point) transfer to your tagine dish or lidded cooking pot.

Add onions and garlic to the frying pan, soften then add turmeric, cumin, fennel and ginger, allow spices to fry for a minute. Now add chickpeas, honey and dried mint, preserved lemons and stock. bring to the boil scraping any sticky chicken bits from the bottom of the frying pan.

Transfer everything to the tagine with the chicken. now add olives and half the chopped nuts, tuck everything under and between the chicken, pop the lid on and cook for 2 hours on 175c

Method for tabbouleh

Pour boiling hot stock onto bulgur wheat, stir, then cover with cling film. Allow to rest and cool for 30 mins. fluff up with a fork.

Add finely chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion, mint and parsley, drizzle in olive oil and lime juice, toss through and season to taste. done!

Serve up your tagine piping hot and jewelled with the remaining nuts, torn coriander and mint and optional pomegranate seeds.

if you fancy something delicious to soak up all that yummy tagine sauce and tabbouleh check out my easy peasy nigella seedy flatbreads.

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