Moroccan Chicken, Egg and Almond Tagine
Note: If you want to make the dish for four people, just double up on the ingredients. If you don’t like garlic, leave it out. Be sure to hardcook the eggs in advance. The perfect accompaniment is couscous. For two generous portions, you will need 3 1⁄2 ounces couscous soaked in 8 ounces boiling water. A splash of olive oil or a dab of butter with a squeeze of lemon makes the couscous more interesting. From “Just One Pot,” by Lindsey Bareham.
• 2 large onions
• 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
• 2 tbsp. butter
• 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1⁄2 tsp. ground coriander
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Generous pinch saffron
• 2 boneless chicken thighs
• 1 large garlic clove
• 1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
• Scant 1/4 c. blanched almonds
• Large bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
• 2 eggs, hard-cooked and quartered
• 1 lemon or lime, in wedges
Peel and halve the onions. Slice 1 very thinly and finely chop the other. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter in an 8-cup-capacity, heavy-bottomed pan placed over medium heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the onions. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the cumin and ground coriander and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Soften the saffron in 1 tablespoon boiling water and add that, too. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the chicken into bite-sized strips. Set aside.
Peel and finely chop the garlic. Sprinkle it with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and use a pestle and mortar or the flat of a knife to work to a juicy paste. Stir the remaining olive oil into the garlic and smear it all over the chicken.
Heat the vegetable oil in a second frying pan and stir-fry the almonds for a couple of minutes until evenly golden. Tip onto absorbent kitchen paper to drain.
When the onions are ready, stir in the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, for a couple of minutes until all the pieces have turned white. Add just enough water to cover, bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Stir cilantro into the chicken mixture with the almonds, and cook for a couple more minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve on cousous, with hard-cooked eggs and a lemon or lime wedge on the side.