Chicken Tagine

Chicken Tagine

Moroccan food is amazing, and healthy to boot. I had a proper tagine pot (authentic clay pot with a cone shaped lid), for all of 3 weeks before breaking it. The good thing is that you can make in any pot or dish with a well fitting lid. I cooked my tagine on the stove top, but can bake it in the oven if you prefer.

Tagines are slow cooked stews, and can be made with a variety of meat, and vegetables. Authentic tagines often use dried fruit such as prunes or apricots to add sweetness to balance out the heat of the harissa. I didn’t have any dried fruit, but this is still delicious. This is pretty hot, if you can’t handle alot of spice use less harissa or do what it did and add a dollop of yoghurt to cool things down.

Serves 4

8 Small Chicken thighs

1 Tbsp Olive oil

1 Large carrot

1 Large onion

1 Large courgette

1 Red pepper

1 Tsp Ground cumin

2 Cloves of garlic (minced)

1-2 Tbsps Preserved lemons (I made these myself, but you can also buy them from most supermarkets

1 Tbsp Harissa Paste (Again I made this myself, but you can buy this in supermarkets)

500ml Chicken stock (I used a stock cube)

400gm Can of chickpeas

1Tsp Salt

Method

  1. In a large pan with a lid, add the olive oil, and when hot add the chicken thighs and seal
  2. Cut the vegetables into chunks (I like this quite rustic)
  3. Add the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes
  4. Chop the preserved lemons finely and add to the pan along with the other ingredients and stir
  5. Put the lid on to the pot and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 45 minutes
  6. Serve with cous cous and a dollop of yoghurt

Flourless Moroccan Orange Cake

When I went to Morocco I fell in love with the taste of the orange flower water they include in sweet dishes.  You can pick it up cheaply in most Asian supermarkets.

You can make this cake without it and it will still be delicious but add a teaspoon of orange flower water and it takes it to a whole other level.  You can also put this in your bath and it will smell fabulous.

But a final word of caution, if you are going to use it, only use a teaspoonful.  Like rose water, a little bit makes things taste amazing, too much and the dish you slaved over tastes like a tart’s hand bag.

Flourless Moroccan Orange 🎂

This is a brilliant cake if you’re entertaining, as it’s flourless you’re covered if you have a guest who’s gluten intolerant.  Fancy things up, and poach some orange segments in a little sugar and water (you could even add some orange liqueur if you want to push the boat out).  Both the cake and the poached oranges can be made a day in advance so all you have to do is serve it up with some crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt for a simple but effective dessert.  You can also devour it on its own with a big mug of coffee.

            Serves 8

            Ingredients

            2 Large oranges

            5 Large eggs

            250 grams Caster sugar

            250 grams Ground Almonds

            1 Tsp Orange flower water (optional)

            1 Tsp Baking powder

            Icing sugar (optional)

            Method

  1. Put the 2 oranges into a pan with enough water to just cover them, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 hours, I cover with a lid and check every now and again
  2. After 2 hours, remove from the water allow to cool, chop into quarters (removing any obvious pips, and blend to a pulp using a hand blender or food processor
  3. Pre heat the oven to 200c, and line a 20 cm cake tin with baking parchment
  4. In a bowl combine the eggs and sugar, whisk until the they have turned pale yellow and fluffy
  5. Stir in the baking powder, orange flower water and orange pulp before gradually folding in the ground almonds
  6. Transfer the mix into you lined tin and bake for 50-55 minute, or until a skewer comes out cleanly with no cake mixture on it. This cake does go quite dark, but if you’re worried it’s not cooked and it’s getting too dark, then cover with some aluminium foil.
  7. Allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, remove from the tin and dust with icing sugar