Transport yourself to a Moroccan souk with the exotic flavours of this tasty tagine. Simple to put together, this great evening meal is a lovely combination of chicken, chickpeas and butternut squash infused with spicy harissa paste and sweet apricots and cinnamon. Pop this tagine in the oven and let it bubble away for an hour and then serve with a mound of couscous or rice.
Chicken thighs are a cheaper alternative to chicken breasts and contain more iron. Apricots and chickpeas are some other great food sources of iron, so this is a great recipe to eat if you are in need of an energy boost and you are feeling pale and pasty.
Chicken & Apricot Tagine
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
- Chop the onion. Peel, deseed and chopthe butternut squash.
- Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof casserole dish. Add the chicken thighs and brown until golden on each side, then remove and set side.
- Reduce the heat, add the chopped onions and gently cook for five minutes.
- Add the harissa, ground cinnamon and ground cumin to the pan, and cook for a few minutes. Add the prepared butternut squash, stirring well to coat with all the spices.
- Return the chicken to the pan along with the dried apricots and drained chickpeas.
- Add the chicken stock and chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a simmer, then place into the preheated oven to continue cooking for 1 hour.
- When it is ready, garnish with chopped fresh mint and serve (optional).
- After an hour in the oven, the chicken should be well-cooked, but you can check by making a slit in the thickest part of the chicken thigh. If there is any blood or pink meat the chicken isn’t cooked through, and you should put the tagine back in the oven for another ten minutes.
- You could use a variety of different vegetables in this recipe. Pumpkin, other types of squash, carrots and swede all work well in place of the butternut.
- If you would like a meat-free version, then replace the chicken thighs and chicken stock with an extra tin of chickpeas and vegetable stock.