Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Living in the big smoke: Moroccan lentil chicken tagine

on August 17, 2014

IMG_5583.JPG

So, I’ve decided to start blogging again.  I know, it’s been a while.  More than a year in fact.  And it’s been a tumultuous year.  We moved to London, for my job.  I’m now working for Oxfam and absolutely loving it.  But chatting to the government is aided by being near them, and so we moved.Upped sticks, lock stock and barrel.  Sold our lovely home in Manchester and have now bought a new house in South London.  And it’s very lovely too, remarkably similar in fact.  Just a bit smaller and significantly more expensive!

But as we settle and start to feel comfortable again, making a home and finding comfort in homeliness has come back to us, and hence the blog.  I’ve never stopped cooking and perhaps my cooking has become simpler, quicker and more frugal as I find ways to make money and time stretch further in a city that demands so much and also is so absorbing.

I wonder if too, this blog may also become about eating and drinking in London – whether at home or out and about…we’ll see.

But I start with a very easy and cheap meal and pretty quick meal.  It’s delicious and something you can leave cooking whilst you do other things.  It’s a chicken lentil one pot tagine.  I quickly discovered the joys of Brixton market, including their very good and cheap halal butchers.  But if you’re without a market, then chicken legs are often much cheaper anyway, or get a whole chicken and cut it up.  I used boneless, skinless thighs as the recipe states, but you can use bone in and skin on ones, or thighs and drumsticks, just cook for a bit longer and use less oil when browning the chicken as there’s more fat in the skins which will release when you cook it.

The recipe is here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1860/moroccanstyle-chicken-with-lentils

As always, I adapted it.  I used raisins instead of apricots, but you can leave them out all together if you like, and I added in olives and peppers.  But you can use whatever you have really.  I also cooked it in a tagine pot, but you can use a casserole dish or a heavy bottomed saucepan too.  The advantage of a tagine is it’ll cook it much quicker.

Moroccan lentil chicken tagineIMG_5584.JPG

Serves 2

  • 2 tsp olive oil (or any oil really)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 2 tsp sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 pepper, sliced
  • 15 large olives
  • 50g red lentils (washed and drained)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml chicken stock (you may need more if not using a tagine)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • handful of sultanas or raisins
  • juice of half a lemon
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander or mint
  1. Mix together the dried spices with the oil and rub over the chicken
  2. Heat the tagine on the stove and add the chicken thighs, until browned on all sides.
  3. Remove the chicken and turn down the heat.
  4. Add another tsp of oil and fry the onions until softened
  5. Add the garlic, tomatoes, stock, cinnamon, pepper, lentils, lemon juice and raisins to the tagine
  6. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the lentils have absorbed the liquid.  You can also put in an oven if preferred at this point, but it’ll need longer to cook.
  7. You may need to add more stock if it becomes too dry, or leave the lid off towards the end if too liquidy
  8. 5 minutes before the end, add the olives.  And check the salt level.  Add some if needed.
  9. Just before serving, stir through the coriander or mint

And voila, easy peasy moroccan chicken that’s healthy, cheap and pretty quick to make.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: