Moroccan Chicken

3:10 pm on 22 May 2015

Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients - this is an easy-enough dish to do, and it is spectacular to eat. It works well with couscous or a mash, which will help balance the overall cost of the meal.
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs and 6 drumsticks, skin on, bone in
  • finely grated zest 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 dried figs
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground chilli powder
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • ¾ cup pitted prunes
  • ¾ cup ground almonds
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • flaky sea salt
  • lemon wedges for squeezing
  • ½ cup roasted whole almonds
  • 2 tbsp coriander sprigs to garnish

Method

Trim fat from chicken pieces, then put chicken in a large bowl. Add lemon zest and juice and salt. Rub into chicken. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Trim stalks off dried figs, cut in half then soak figs in a bowl in hot water for 15 minutes, then drain.

In a small bowl mix dried mint, cumin, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and chilli powder and rub into chicken.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Brown chicken in batches, being vigilant as the spices can burn quickly. Transfer chicken pieces to a casserole as they are done, and add more oil if needed (if spices catch, scrape out and discard).

When all the chicken is browned, lower heat under the pan. Add 1 Tbsp oil and the onions. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 7-10 minutes until onions are soft. Stir in garlic, then transfer to casserole with chicken, scraping in all the juices. Put casserole over a medium  heat, add stock and bring to a gentle boil. Cover casserole with a lid and cook gently for 25 minutes.

Add drained figs, prunes and ground almonds. Continue cooking for a further 30 minutes, until chicken is very tender.

Fry pine nuts in a small pan in a lick of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.

When chicken is ready squeeze over a little lemon juice, top with roasted almonds and pine nuts and garnish with coriander.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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