Tagine of duck breasts with dates, honey and orange flower waterThis traditional Moorish dish appears in various guises throughout the Arab-influenced world. Poultry cooked with dates and honey is probably one of the most ancient culinary combinations and the finished dish is deliciously succulent. You can substitute the duck with chicken, pigeon or poussins if you prefer.
- 25 g fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2–3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil plus a knob of butter
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 duck breasts, on the bone
- 2–3 tablespoons clear, runny honey
- 225 g ready-to-eat stoned dates
- 1–2 tablespoons orange flower water
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2–3 tablespoons blanched almonds
- Plain, Buttery Couscous tossed with finely chopped
- preserved lemon and fresh green herbs, to serve
Stir in the honey and tuck the dates around the duck. Add enough water (the amount will vary according to the size of your tagine) to cover the base of the tagine and to come about one-third of the way up the duck breasts. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cover. Cook gently for about 25 minutes.
Add the orange flower water and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the duck is tender.
In a frying pan, melt the butter and stir in the almonds. Sauté until golden brown and then scatter them over the duck. Serve immediately with Plain, Buttery Couscous flavored with preserved lemon and herbs.