Chicken tagine with figs and almonds

A one-pot Moroccan stew flavoured with spicy harissa and a subtle natural sweetness of figs, which Angela Nilsen serves with a herbed couscous
By Angela Nilsen
Chicken tagine with figs and almonds
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the tagine

  • 600 g skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in 5cm chunks
  • 2 tbsp harissa, paste
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • good pinch saffron
  • 2 tsp grated fresh root ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 400 g canned cherry tomatoes
  • 150 g soft figs, (semi-dried), cut in quarters
  • 2 tsp clear honey
  • good handful coriander, coarsely chopped, plus sprigs to garnish
  • 30 g toasted almonds

For the herbed couscous

  • 250 g couscous
  • 300 ml hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Tips and Suggestions

The flavour of this tagine is even better if made a day ahead. Chill overnight in the fridge, then gently reheat to serve.

Method

1. For the chicken tagine: put the chicken in a large bowl, spoon in the harissa and rub it all over the chicken (hands are good for this). Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying or sauté pan then fry the chicken for 4-5 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove with a slotted spoon and put back in the bowl.

2. Pour the remaining oil into the pan, tip in the onion and fry for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic, saffron, ginger, cumin, paprika and cinnamon and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, then deglaze the pan by pouring in a little of the stock and stirring to scrape any bits sticking on the bottom of the pan. Tip in the tomatoes, the rest of the stock and the figs. Cover and simmer gently for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is really tender. Drizzle the honey over, stir, then taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

3. For the herbed couscous: just before you are ready to serve, put the couscous in a heatproof bowl and pour over the hot stock. Cover with cling film and leave for 10 minutes for the couscous to absorb the liquid. Fluff up the grains with a fork, then fork through the coriander, parsley and season with salt and pepper. To serve the tagine, stir in the coriander and serve on a pile of couscous, scattered with the almonds and garnished with a sprig of coriander.

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