For some reason there is not much to find about Arabic food, or at least not in the places I check out regularly. Chicken tajine is the most often mentioned dish, but most of the time I don’t like the recipes because they are often very plain or sickly sweet. But this recipe isn’t! It has a nice balance between the spices and the sweetness and is nice and savoury. With the tajine I served naan (because I had it left, but it is really a nice accompaniment), couscous and some broad beans and mangetouts. The dish is not that rich in vegetables so to have some as a side-dish is a good idea.
I don’t like broad beans at all, usually they are tough, fibery, bitter and to make them edible you need to pod them double: first the outer shell and then the whitish layer around the beans. But the broad beans from my allotment are lovely! Removing the outer pods does takes some time, but it is really worth it. Because we don’t let them get too big, the whitish layer around is not tough at all and they taste so incredibly fresh! It is important not to overcook them, put them in a pan with a small layer of water, bring to the boil and drain immediately, or throw in a frying pan with some butter or olive oil, for 30 seconds. Dress with some butter or olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Lovely!
Moroccan chicken with apricots, almonds and chickpeas (2 servings + some leftovers)
Slightly adapted from The Kitchn
2 chicken legs
salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb piece ginger root, minced
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chicken stock (or 1 stock cube + 1 cup of water)
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Accompaniments: naan bread, couscous (cooked with stock and fluffed with a bit of butter), broad beans
Heat some oil in a large pan and place the chicken legs in there. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Sauté the onions and carrots with some salt until soft and slightly caramelized, then add the garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and cinnamon. Add the stock, scrape the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the apricots, bring everything to the boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat and stew for about an hour.
Take out the chicken. Add the honey, almonds and chickpeas to the pan and mix with the veggies and apricots. Increase the heat, bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until thickened slightly. Check for seasoning, add some salt and/or pepper when necessary. Serve the chicken and the sauce with accompaniments.