Melt in your mouth chicken with plump, juicy apricots, salty olives and middle eastern spices make this dish the perfect balance of flavours.   The heady scent of this slow cooked, spicy combination will have you dreaming of the Middle East……..

Serves 4

2 tbs of olive oil
1kg of skinless and boneless chicken thigh fillets, chopped into bite size chunks
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 brown onion, halved and sliced
1/2 tsp of ground ginger
1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
2 tsp of ground coriander
2 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of chilli powder
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup of chicken stock
400gm tin of chopped tomatoes
1 cup of green sicilian olives
1 cup of dried apricots
1/2 a bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
1 tbs of honey
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Sea salt and pepper
4 tbs of natural yoghurt

For the Cous Cous:

20gm of butter
2 cups of cous cous
2 cups of boiling water
2 green onions, chopped
tbs of chopped parsley
2 tbs of chopped coriander
1 tbs of preserved lemon rind (optional, a squeeze of lemon juice will do)

Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan or tagine.  Lightly brown the chicken pieces in batches until golden, drain on paper towel and set aside.  In the same pan lightly fry the onion until translucent.  Add the garlic, frying until fragrant before adding the ginger, pepper, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chilli powder.  Stir and cook until fragrant before popping the chicken back in the pan.  Pour in the stock and tomatoes, stir well to combine and bring to a simmer.  Add the cinnamon stick, honey and lemon juice and pop the lid on.  Leave to simmer for approximately 1/12 hours, stirring occasionally.

Remove the lid and add the apricots and olives, have a little taste and season with salt and pepper.  Put the lid back on and simmer for a further 30 minutes before removing the lid and allowing the sauce to reduce a little for approximately 15 minutes.

To make the cous cous, heat a smaller pan, melt the butter and lightly fry the onion and lemon rind until the onion is lovely and bright green.  Place the cous cous in a large bowl and pour in the boiling water.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave for 5 minutes.  Remove the plastic wrap and fluff the cous cous up with a fork.  Add the onion and preserved lemon mixture as well as the coriander and parsley.  Stir well to combine, set aside and keep warm.

Finally, stir the fresh coriander through the tagine.  Spoon the cous cous onto four serving plates and top with a generous amount of the tagine, making sure everyone gets some olives and apricots.  Drizzle the yoghurt over the top and allow it to ooze through the sauce before spooning generous forkfuls into your mouth!

I served this with a Moroccan Carrot Salad…….recipe to follow!