Monday, May 23, 2011

Mo'rockin Dreams


One day I'll get to Morocco.
It's definitely up the top of my list, admittedly along with every other country in this world.
I don't discriminate...ever. I want to go everywhere.

In the mean time, I'm going to keep eating meals like this one - a delicious chicken tagine with sweetly soft apricots, zingy preserved lemons and buttery sicilian olives - and pretend I'm sitting in a bustling bazaar, drinking some strongly brewed mint tea and watching the world go by.

I'd also be wearing a deep burgandy coloured fez. Oh wait, and I'd most certainly have a pet monkey on my shoulder but that's just a minor (yet crucial) detail...This is how it all goes down
in my imagination, by the way.


Chicken, Preserved Lemon, Sicilian Olive and Apricot Tagine
with Chilli Cumin Carrots and Cous Cous

Serves 4

for the tagine:
4 chicken thigh fillets
250g sicilian green olives
2 tablespoons of finely chopped preserved lemons
1 cup turkish dried apricots
1 brown onion, cut into small wedges
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground ginger
A few strands of saffron
Huge handful of roughly chopped mint, parsley and coriander

for the carrots:
4 carrots sliced lengthways into quarters
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil

for the cous cous:
2 cups cous cous
2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper
Roughly chopped mint, parsley and coriander

A few tablespoons of slivered almonds
A pinch of lemon zest (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to about 200 degrees Celsius. Now to get the tagine going - brown off the onions and garlic in a big saucepan over a medium heat until golden and translucent. Turn the heat up and push the onions to the side to make room for the chicken thighs. Place each thigh into the pan and let sizzle for a few minutes on each side, allowing them to become nice and brown. Sprinkle in the ground ginger and the saffron threads. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and chuck in the apricots, olives, preserved lemons and herbs. Stir to combine and pour into tagine or casserole dish. Place dish in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes.

While the tagine is cooking, arrange sliced carrots on a baking tray, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and the chilli flakes and cumin. Rough them up with your hands to get the flavours in and put into the oven to cook with the tagine - they should only take 20 mins to cook which is poifect.

Just before serving, place cous cous in a bowl, cover with boiling water and a few drops of olive oil. Leave aside, covered, for about 5 minutes. Once the cous cous has soaked up all the water and is cooked through, fluff up with a fork, season with salt, add the almonds and a generous handful of chopped coriander, parsley and mint. Serve together, with some yoghurt on the side. Delish.

*please excuse crappy photos but winter calls for dark and dreary photographs and I'm still a rookie


  1. they are very pretty food servers! are they from india?!

  2. This looks so good. I miss your cooking!

  3. they are indeed from inja, good work paris!
    thanks tom xx

  4. oh my gosh, you're my hero Jane.