Spicy chicken tagine with apricots, rosemary and gingerThis tagine is both fruity and spicy, and the rosemary and ginger give it a delightful aroma. It can also be made with chicken joints or pigeon breasts, pheasant or duck, and needs only Plain, Buttery Couscous and a leafy salad to accompany it.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus a knob of butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, 1 finely chopped, the other 2 cuts in half
- 40 g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1–2 cinnamon sticks
- 8 chicken thighs
- 175 g ready-to-eat dried apricots
- 2 tablespoons clear, runny honey
- 400-g tin plum tomatoes with juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Leaves from a small bunch of fresh green or purple basil
- Plain, Buttery Couscous , to serve
Heat the oil and butter in a tagine or heavy-based casserole. Add the onion, chopped rosemary, ginger, and chilies and sauté until the onion begins to soften.
Stir in the halved rosemary sprigs and the cinnamon sticks. Add the chicken thighs and brown them on both sides. Toss in the apricots with the honey, then stir in the plum tomatoes with their juice. (Add a little water if necessary, to ensure there is enough liquid to cover the base of the tagine and submerge the apricots.) Bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 35–40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Shred the larger basil leaves and leave the small ones intact. Sprinkle them over the chicken and serve with Plain, Buttery Couscous and a leafy salad, if liked.