Tagine with Apricots, Dried Raisins, Almonds and Couscous
by Susanne Despature
Learn to make a traditional North African American dish, Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Dried Raisin served with couscous using Chef Susanne’s all-star recipe!
Cuisine : Mediterranean Course : Main Skill Level : Novice
Prep : 30 mins Cook : 85 mins Ready in : 115 mins Serves : 6-8
- 1 Large chicken, 1,5 kg, cut in 8 pieces (wings and backbones used for stock)
- 2 Big yellow onions
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 2 sticks Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp Ground cumin
- 1 pinch of Saffron
- 1/2 L Chicken stock
- 6 sprigs Flat-leaved parsley & cilantro
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 12 Dried apricots
- 100g Blond raisins
- 100 ml Syrup (50 g water & 50 g sugar, brought to a Boil)
- Blanched almonds
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Fresh cilantro leaves
- Stir together ground cinnamon, ginger, cumin, salt, pepper, saffron and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add chicken pieces and turn to coat well.
- Heat clarified butter or oil in a skillet (or tagine base), uncovered, over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Then brown the chicken fillets (cut in 2 pieces each) for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown (but still raw inside) and transfer to a plate. Add the other chicken parts, adding any spice mixture left in bowl and brown them for 5-6 minutes, then transfer to a plate.
- Add onion and fry them over medium heat, stirring frequently, until soft, about 8 minutes. Tie cilantro and parsley into a bundle with kitchen string and add to the Tagine along with ½ cup of chicken stock, 1 cinnamon stick and all the chicken pieces (except the delicate and tender fillet) with the juices accumulated on plate. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. (Alternatively, you can cook the Tagine in the oven at 150 ºC for 1 ½ hour.)
- While chicken cooks, bring the syrup and 1 cinnamon stick to a boil in a small saucepan and add the halved apricots and raisins. Let it simmer for 5-6 minutes, then stop the heat and let the dried fruits rehydrate in the syrup. Heat up 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet over moderate heat and fry the almonds, stirring it occasionally until golden brown for about 1-2 minutes. Transfer it with a slotted spoon to paper towel to drain.
- Ten minutes before the chicken is done, add the apricot mixture and chicken fillet pieces to Tagine.
- Discard herbs and cinnamon stick, add honey and reduce sauce if too liquid. Serve Chicken Tagine sprinkled with some cilantro leaves and almonds on top.
- In a large and heavy pan, bring chicken stock to a boil along with olive oil. Stop heat, add couscous and cover immediately.
- Let stand for 5 minutes until couscous is tender and stock absorbed.
- Stir in butter, then fluff with fork, add chickpeas and serve along with Tagine.