The meal that (may have) changed my life

A couple of weeks ago, I cooked dinner for some friends of my folks (I am actually the best daughter ever, despite what my parents would say). Earlier this year, I helped out these friends with some very top line research into a product they’re hoping to launch so it was great to put faces to email addresses. At this dinner, I was blindsided by an offer, that may actually change my life at some point in the future. But it’s too early to talk about that now, so instead, I’m going to talk about the meal I cooked for them.

My mum loves it when I cook Moroccan food so asked if I’d make a tagine. So I did. Rather than revisit my old favourite Christmas lamb, I decided to make a lemon, ginger and coriander chicken tagine so that it wasn’t so sweet-fruity as you’d get with dried apricots, it had a more subtle flavour from the lemons. I served it with a vegetable stew and roasted beetroot (I was trialling this in advance of last weekend’s supperclub) and some cous cous. Tagine recipe below. Wasn’t too keen on how it looked but the flavours came out really well – simple yet rounded. This recipe serves 6-8 people

The meal that may have changed my life

Lemon, ginger and coriander chicken tagine

  • 1.5KG of chicken, bone in, skin off (I used thighs and legs but you can use a whole chicken – I just find breast meat a little dry)
  • 1.5tsp paprika
  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • A large nub of ginger – I’d say two thumbs worth – finely minced
  • A big bunch of coriander (save some for garnish)
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 1 lemon finely sliced
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • A few strands of saffron in a small amount of water
  • 150ml of water
  • Oil, salt, pepper

Chop half the coriander, half the garlic and half the ginger finely and mix with a small amount of olive oil. Add the turmeric, paprika and cumin and rub into the chicken. Leave to marinade in the fridge for at least two hours (or preferably overnight).

Once you’re ready to cook (it takes about 45mins-1hr in total), take the chicken out of the fridge.

In a tagine (or large saucepan with a tight fitting lid), soften the onions and remaining garlic and ginger over a low heat with some oil. Stir in the lemon zest, then add the slices of lemon on top of this and then layer the chicken over the top of the lemon slices. Pour over the lemon juice, saffron water and water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a low simmer and put the lid on and leave to cook for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

If it looks like the water is cooking off, add a little more but not too much more.

If you’ve cooked it in a tagine, simply season, sprinkle over some coriander and serve. Or do the same in a saucepan or move it to a serving dish. Entirely up to you. However you serve it, it tastes damn fine.

Cous Cous with mint and pomegranate seed roasted beetroot


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