Simple tagine recipe

The great thing about tagine is that you can use the same flavour and vegetable base with either meat or pulses. Here's a simple but incredibly flavoursome recipe for a fruity and tangy tagine. You can use chicken or chickpeas (or both, like I did!).



WHAT YOU NEED:

Serves 2

The tagine

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into strips, or one 400g can of chickpeas

  • 2 shallots

  • 1/2 a preserved lemon*

  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste

  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips

  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree

  • 1" piece of ginger grated (or two teaspoons of Lazy Ginger from the jar!

  • 150ml chicken or vegetable stock

  • tin of artichoke hearts

  • 50g flaked almonds

  • 6 soft un-sulphured apricots**

  • 1 teaspoon Moroccan spice mix***

  • fresh coriander

  • salt and pepper

  • Handful brown rice per person

  • Handful red and white quinoa per person

Marinade

if you're making the chicken version and you have time beforehand, it really pays off to marinate the meat. Just mix all the following together, cover the meat with the mixture and leave it in the fridge for up to two hours, if you can (but any length of time is better than nothing xx).

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 teaspoon Moroccan spices

  • Juice of 1 lemon, preferably fresh

  • 1 tbsp olive oil


WHAT YOU DO:

The basic principle is the same for the chicken or the chickpea version. Once you've got your marinade well on the way here's the method for the tagine:


  1. Heat the oil in a casserole or if you have it, a tagine. You're all ready to get the base going.

  2. Stir in the chopped shallots, the lemon (preserved or oven roasted), the Moroccan spice mix, the harissa and the the strips of red pepper and get it nicely sizzling.

  3. Put the brown rice on to cook (total 30 minutes).

  4. Add the strips of chicken, or the chickpeas, the tomato puree and the stock and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cover and let the meat or chickpeas cook or soften for about 15 minutes.

  5. Add the quinoa to the rice.

  6. After that put in the artichoke hearts, flaked almonds and the apricots (you can cut these in half if you want to), and allow it all to cook for about another 5 minutes. if there's a lot of liquid you can leave the lid off at this point.

  7. it should all be done after about 5 minutes, together with your lovely soft wholegrains. Serve with the chopped coriander and salt and pepper to taste.


* if you don't have any preserved lemons, don't worry. Just cut a lemon into thick slices and put them in the oven to roast for 45 minutes, with a drizzle of oil, on about 180 degrees. It's not the same as preserved lemon but I have found that it does give you some lovely soft lemon flavour and texture.


** if you can get un-sulphured I think they have a different taste and, of course they are less treated. I love the dark rich colour of them!


*** I love the Schwartz spice mixes, they are so easy to use and save you having hundreds of different jars in your pantry :) . There's a Thai, Morroccan and Italian one that are regulars in my cooking.