Chicken tagine makes a fantastic and filling midweek supper when served with herb-scented couscous. Nice to serve for a relaxed party too.
To make the couscous, place the couscous in a large bowl and add the oil and lemon juice. Mix well, ensuring that all the grains are coated. Heat the stock in a small pan and season generously. Pour over the couscous, stir well, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes before gently separating the grains with a fork. The couscous can be left like this for up to 4 hours. When ready to serve, season the couscous to taste and place in a pan to reheat for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously with a fork. Stir in the herbs just before serving.
Heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2. Place the ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, ground cumin, ground coriander and cayenne in a small bowl and mix to combine, then tip half into a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss until evenly coated.
Heat a large casserole dish and add half the olive oil. Tip in the chicken and cook over a fairly high heat until evenly browned, then tip onto a plate. Add the remaining olive oil to the casserole and stir in the remaining spices and the onion, and then cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is softened but not browned, stirring occasionally.
Return the browned chicken pieces to the casserole with the dates, almonds, honey, saffron mixture, chicken stock and chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour until the chicken is completely tender but holding its shape and the sauce has thickened.
To serve, transfer the chicken to a tagine or large dish and sprinkle over the coriander and parsley. Serve hot with the herb-scented couscous and garnish with the yoghurt.
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