Chicken tagine with figs and olives

A simple tagine of chicken, enriched with dried figs and olives.
A simple tagine of chicken, enriched with dried figs and olives. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Gluten-free

Exotic saffron, feisty ginger, smoky paprika, warm cumin and sweetly scented cinnamon go into this simple tagine. Serve with cous cous and extra harissa to add to your taste.

Ingredients

4 garlic cloves, grated

good pinch of saffron

1 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp paprika

sea salt and pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

1 good chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 8 chicken thighs

2 large onions, peeled

400g canned tomatoes, chopped

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp harissa*

1 tbsp honey

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp ground cumin

4 carrots, sliced

500ml chicken or vegetable stock or water

3 zucchini, cut into 3cm logs

20 green and black olives, unpitted

6 dried figs, halved

3 preserved lemon wedges, rinsed and finely sliced

½ cup parsley or coriander leaves, picked

Method

1. In a large bowl, mix the garlic, saffron, ginger and paprika, sea salt and pepper with one tablespoon of olive oil. Rub the spice paste into the chicken pieces.

2. Heat the oil one tablespoon at a time in a heavy pan, and brown the chicken in batches, skin-side down, until well-tanned.

3. Heat the oven to 160C (140C fan-forced). Grate one onion, and halve and finely slice the other. In a large ovenproof and heatproof pot, combine the onions, tomatoes, tomato paste, harissa, honey, cinnamon sticks and cinnamon, cumin and carrots. Place the chicken pieces on top, add the stock or water and bring to a simmer, stirring.

4. Cover and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Add the zucchini, olives and figs, and cook for a further 30 to 45 minutes, until the chicken is tender.

5. To serve, scatter with parsley and preserved lemon.

Tip: Look for Reuben Solomon's Harissa, a good version of the fiery North African chilli paste, at supermarkets and specialist grocers.

Find more of Jill Dupleix's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

Order Now