Algerian Chicken Tagine with Apricots

Algerian Chicken Tagine with Apricots

Tagines are really easy to cook, temptingly aromatic and good for you to boot. The Moroccan-spiced chicken combines well with the apricots and fresh coriander to provide a good balance of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Serve this dish with plain couscous, a slow-burning carbohydrate which is excellent for training.

Serves 4

Ingredients For The Tagine

8 free-range chicken thighs or 4 chicken quarters, on the bone

2 tbs flour, seasoned with pinch of salt, pepper and paprika

2 small onions, finely sliced

2 bayleaves

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 inch fresh ginger grated

1 pinch of saffron, soaked in a little boiling water for 10 minutes

1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika 

4 tsp ras-el-hanout spice mix

Cinnamon stick

Chicken stock

2 tsp honey

Large handful of ready-soaked, dried apricots, halved

Large handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Splash of orange flower water

For the Couscous

250g couscous (wholemeal if you can get it)

1 tsp salt

Knob of butter or splash of olive oil

Handful of flaked almonds, roasted in the oven at 180°C for 5 minutes


  1. Coat the chicken in the flour and heat 2 tbs oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole dish and brown gently.
  2. Remove the chicken and then sauté the onion with the bayleaf until softened.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and the spices and sauté for a couple of minutes until the aromas start to release.
  4. Add the chicken, the saffron and enough stock to cover the chicken. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Add the apricots after 20 minutes.
  5. Prepare the couscous – rinse in cold water and then place in a bowl with the salt and the butter or olive oil. Pour over 300 mls boiling water and leave for 5 minutes (check pack for exact quantity of water and how long to leave it). Fluff up the couscous gently with a fork, adding the almonds as you do so.
  6. When the chicken is cooked, add a spoonful of honey and the orange flower water and cook for a few more minutes. Boil down the juice to thicken and spoon off any excess fat.
  7. Sprinkle with fresh coriander.
  8. Taste for seasoning. You may want to add a little more spice or a squeeze of lemon.
  9.  Serve with the couscous and a fresh rocket salad.

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