• 6 chicken thigh portions
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin chick peas
  • 1 x 400g tin halved apricots in fruit juice, drained with 1 tbsp of the juice retained
  • 1 carrot
  • a handful of olives
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • a handful of flaked almonds
  • cous cous from a packet because I was feeling lazy

Mr B battles through the snow every evening (and any other weather condition thrown at us throughout the year) to make sure he’s home for doing bath time. Given that by 6pm I need either a stiff G & T or a hour without children, this makes him my hero. And on an especially cold evening like last night he deserved something warming and spicy and sweet.

This is my completely inauthentic version of a chicken tagine and Mr B said it was rather good. Serves 2 – 3 dependant on hunger. In fact could serve 4 normal people.

Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken thigh portions
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped into eight bits
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin chick peas
  • 1 x 400g tin halved apricots in fruit juice, drained with 1 tbsp of the juice retained
  • 1 carrot cut into rounds (I used the marvellous non peel ones from Sainsbos.)
  • a handful of olives (I used stone in ones as I bought them by accident for Charlie.)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • a handful of flaked almonds
  • cous cous from a packet because I was feeling lazy

Preheat the oven to Gas 6 (200C/400F) and put the chicken thighs onto a metal tray skin side up in the top of the oven. In the meantime make the sauce.

Fry the onion on a medium heat in the oil, mixed spice, ginger and cinnamon stick for about 5 mins. Add the tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, apricots with 1tbsp of juice, carrots, olives and sugar and continue to cook on a medium heat for about 20 mins. The mixture should reduce a little but not too much. If it looks like it’s reducing too much turn it down and add a little water.

Remove the chicken thighs from the oven (they should be browned and sizzling with lots of juice swimming about in the tin.) Now, if you’re a healthy type you can discard the chicken juices, but we are not, so I added it to the sauce on the hob. Next put the thighs into a large casserole dish with a lid, pour the sauce over the top and then top up with boiling water until the ‘tagine’ is covered. Pop back in the oven on a high shelf and turn the heat down to Gas 4 (180C/350F.) Leave for about an hour or so.

I made my ahem, Ainsley Harriott cous cous with the ‘tagine’ sauce and then added some flaked almonds to disguise this fact. Pour the chicken stew over the cous cous and serve with a glass of something equally warming but alcoholic.

 

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