Welcome to the Kasbah. The smell of this chicken almond preserved lemon tagine cooking is like a tantalizing waft of spices from an old bazaar. Best of all, it’s as easy to make as an everyday casserole. It’s also gluten free and low GI.
chicken almond preserved lemon tagine
- 8 Ritchies chicken thigh fillets
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 3 medium garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon each of ground cumin, ground coriander
- 2 small cinnamon sticks
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pinch of saffron threads (optional)
- ½ preserved lemon, finely chopped
- very thin rind from ½ fresh lemon, very finely sliced
- 2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups low salt chicken stock
- 1 400g can cooked chickpeas, drain (optional)
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, washed cut in 2 cm thick slices.
- blanched whole almonds, lightly toasted
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
chicken almond preserved lemon tagine method
Place olive oil in a large oven proof sauté pan or shallow enamel casserole or tagine. Fry the onions on a medium heat until their soft and just starting to change colour.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the spices, including saffron if you use it, and cook for another minute to toast them slightly. Pour in the tomatoes and stock. Add the bay leaf lemon rind and chopped preserved lemon and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently till the flavours start to combine and the sauce thickens slightly.
Roll the chicken thigh fillets into a neat shape and place them smooth side up in the pan, stuff the sweet potato slices in the gaps between the chicken. Place the a tight fitting lid on the pan and either cook on a low temperature on the cook top or transfer to a preheated oven and cook at 180oC for about 25 minutes remove the lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender and the sauce has thickened.
If you’re using chickpeas, scatter them over the dish return the lid and heat through. If at this point the sauce is still runny, use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked chicken and sweet potato pieces from the pan. Simmer on the hot plate with the lid off, until the sauce reduces and thickens up a little, then return the chicken and sweet potato pieces to the pan.
Check the seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving scatter with toasted almonds and coriander leaves and serve hot with couscous or rice and salad.
Serves 6-8. Preparation 25 minutes. Cooking time 1 hour 10 minutes.