Chicken and Chickpea Tagine with Apricots and Harissa Sauce

  • Preparation Time5 mins
  • Cooking Time45 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium
2 tbsps rapeseed oil
8 chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsps olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled, halved, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp ras al-hanut*
Large pinch saffron, soaked in 60ml warm water
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 cups tinned diced tomatoes, drained (450g tin)
1 1/2 cups tinned chickpeas, rinsed, drained (450g tin)
3/4 cup dried apricots, sliced into half moons
Harissa sauce, recipe follows
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Chopped fresh coriander leaves, for garnish

For the harissa sauce

120ml creme fraiche
1 tbsp harissa*
1) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.

2) Heat the rapeseed oil in a large Dutch oven or a tagine pot over high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and place in the hot pan, skin side down, in batches if needed. Cook until golden brown. Turn the thighs over and cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove the chicken to a plate.

3) Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the pan then add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ras al-hanut and cook another 30 seconds. Add the saffron with the soaking liquid, cinnamon stick, tomatoes, chickpeas and apricots and bring to a simmer.

4) Nestle the chicken into the mixture and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on the stove top or in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Do not remove the lid to check on the chicken until this time.

Garnish each serving with a dollop of harissa sauce, parsley and coriander.

Harissa sauce:

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and let stand for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.

*Cook's note:

Ras al-hanut is a mixture of many different spices used in Moroccan cooking. It is available at spice markets or online.

Harissa is a fiery paste of chillies, garlic and spices. It is available at specialty markets.

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