Saturday, May 10, 2008

Jordanian Tagine

I stole this recipe from a Jordanian chef. I rarely embarrass myself or chefs by scabbing for a recipe at the end of a meal, but this was so good I had to. The recipe is as unlike a North African tagine as you're going to get. Oh, and it's also dead easy to make! Instead of the lean chicken used in the recipe, try it with a greater weight (about a 1kg bird) of chicken on the bone, chopped into pieces. Excellent!

This should ideally (traditionally) be served up with a steaming, fragrant couscous that's been steeping in stock and spice, but some people hate the graininess of couscous, in which case rice does nicely. A salad of plain couscous and grilled vegetables is also neat.

  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 500ml good chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 3cm cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 500g chicken, cubed
  • Fry off the onion over a medium heat until it turns transparent, then add the chicken to brown lightly.
  • Add the harissa and the garlic, then the salt and spices and finally, after it's all been fried around a bit, the chicken stock.
  • Bring to a boil and then slow to a very simmery simmer.
  • Add the chickpeas and let everything just cook up together, about 15 minutes for lean chicken and about 35-40 minutes for meat on the bone.
  • Add the tomato paste and mix it in (you can omit this step for meat on the bone as the sauce will thicken naturally), then twist the lemon into it and season with pepper before serving up.

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