I don't know what inspired me but I've always wanted to try cooking in a tagine - it took until today for me to go buy one and have a go.
Firstly, these things are massive! I had to rearrange our pots and pans cabinet to accomodate the new tagine (did I mention I can't wait until our renovations are complete and we have a new kitchen?!). If you live in Sydney I can highly recommend Victoria's Basement as you can pick up a good sized version for under $50.
I wasn't sure what to try for my first recipe so I decided to have a look at some back issues of Selector magazine (there's a review due for that too!). A year or so ago they included a nice chicken tagine recipe. You need to prepare:
- 160g almonds, coarsely chopped
- 120g pitted green olives, chopped
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup coriander, chopped
- 1 cup oregano, chopped
- 2 green chilies, sliced
- 1 preserved lemon, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 small red chilies, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tbsp mustard powder
- 4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
- 2 x chicken thighs and drumsticks
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup verjuice
Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the almonds, olives, parsley, coriander, oregano, green chilies, and preserved lemon in a bowl. Add 2 tbsp of oil and combine. Season with salt and ground pepper.
Combine the red chilies, garlic, lemon juice, zest, spices, salt, pepper, and mustard powder and spread over the chicken. Marinate for 10 minutes.
Lightly oil the tagine and then place a layer of potatoes and then red onion. Add the chicken and any remaining marinade. Then add the almond and herb mixture.
Cook for 20 minutes with the lid on. Then cook for 40 minutes with the lid off. Plate and serve...
To be honest, it was nice but not as good as I'd hoped. The Gourmet Female thinks I could have cooked the dish for another hour or so and let everything mix and meld. She's probably right. I'll try again soon.
So, how about buying a tagine and surprising your partner?!