6 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into large chunks (or assorted chicken pieces, about 3 lbs)
1 tablespoon flour or 2 tablespoons cornflour
2 large onions, chopped
3 -4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 -2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 inch fresh gingerroot, finely chopped
6 ounces dried apricots
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 (14 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
2 (14 ounce) cans chickpeas
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 pint chicken stock
1 pinch saffron or 1 teaspoon turmeric
4 teaspoons ras el hanout spice mix (or make up spice mix below)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and black pepper
chopped fresh coriander, to serve (Cilantro)
2 carrots, peeled & diced (optional)
1 preserved lemon, chopped into small wedges (optional)
1 PLEASE NOTE: This recipe lists canned chickpeas in the ingredients, NOT dried! If you use dried chickpeas, you MUST soak them and cook them first!
2 Heat up olive oil in a frying pan/skillet & saute chopped onions & garlic for 5-10 minutes.
3 Add chicken stock & gradually mix in flour or cornflour until well mixed & not lumpy.Add honey & tomato paste & mix well.
4 Add herbs,spices & finely chopped ginger with salt & pepper to taste.
5 Finally add tinned tomatoes & mix well.
6 Pour the above tomato,onion & spice mix into slow cooker or tagine.
7 Add chicken & chickpeas & mix well.
8 Add dried apricots making sure they are covered by juice. (Add the carrots if using.).
9 Give it a gentle but good stir to mix everything together well.
10 Crock Pot or Slow Cooker – Cook on high for about 3 to 4 hours OR automatic with keep warm facility for up to 8 hours. (Please note that the cooking times depend on your crockpot, the cooking times I have suggested work fine with mine which is a Morphy Richards Slow Cooker.).
11 If cooking in a Traditional Tagine, do as above & cook SLOWLY over gas or barbeque for about 2-3 hours.
12 Electric Tagine cooking – same as the slowcooker. If you need to thicken it up towards the end of the cooking time, add cornflour which has been mixed with a little water & add to the tagine – mix well.
13 Serve with freshly chopped Coriander/Cilantro sprinked on top & either with couscous, rice, fresh flat bread, pitta bread or salads. It is also good (if not traditional) served with fluffy pureed or mashed potatoes & pasta.
14 Note: You can use chicken pieces or whole chicken which has been cut up into portions, but you will then need to brown them in a frying pan or skillet beforehand. Preserved lemons make a great addition, add them when you add the apricots and carrots.