Tag Archives: tagine

a sort of chicken tagine

I bought a pound of diced chicken last Friday, and soaked and boiled some chickpeas, with the full intention of making a tagine with them on Sunday. Didn’t get to it, due to an unfortunate cycling incident (OK, I fell off), so I stole 30 minutes yesterday morning to make it.

Browned the chicken pieces in olive oil, and put them in the slow cooker. Cut two peppers (one red, one yellow) into chunks, and fried them off until they were just starting to blacken at the corners, added them to the cooker. Hurled in a sliced courgette which was getting a bit tired, a lemon cut into 8, salt, pepper.

Cut a red onion into chunks, and chopped four cloves of garlic, fried them off, added some ras el hanout to the pan and cooked it for a few seconds. Rummaged in fridge for ideas, and found a jar of tomato and pepper relish, so bunged in a couple of tablespoons’ worth, then a squirt of honey and some water. Brought all that to a simmer, hurled it into the slow cooker with the chickpeas, switched on.

The smell drove us demented all afternoon, and we ate some for supper with rice, and chopped coriander sprinkled over the top.

weekend cooking

muffins!

We were due at a Transition Town film meeting on Saturday afternoon, with tea and cake afterwards, so I baked muffins in the morning: I had some brown bananas, and a couple of rather tired clementines, so did a dozen each of clementine and poppyseed, and banana and bran flake. We were greedy, and kept 4 of each back for ourselves, and in the end, not many people turned up for the film, so I brought several muffins back home with me, which are safely stowed in the freezer for when I have a “must have CAKE!” moment.

It’s worth mentioning that the banana muffin mix freezes really well, and I’ve no reason to suppose that the clementine won’t do the same; certainly takes a lot less space than baked muffins, and they’re so much nicer freshly made.

Vegetable Tagine
Sunday, I took an aubergine, a courgette, a red and a yellow pepper, chopped them up and put them in the slow cooker. Chopped up a sweet potato, a butternut squash and a huge carrot, and parboiled them for about 7 minutes. Drained them, added to slow cooker. Chopped an onion and some garlic, fried them off in some olive oil, then added some home made Ras El Hanout and stirred it round for a couple of moments, then added a tin of tomatoes and some water, brought to the boil, added to slow cooker with some salt and pepper. Stirred, regarded, added a tin of chick peas (should have been organised to soak some overnight, but ho hum). Voila, vegetable tagine – after about 6 hours in the cooker. Made 8 portions.

Also knocked out a couple of gallons of fruit juice wine – one prune, one red grape. I’ve not tried this before, but Tesco were doing 3 for 2 on fruit juice last week, and so for about a fiver including sugar it had to be tried. That makes [counts] ten gallons on the go, and about 20 bottles in the rack, so we should be able to continue our alcoholic lifestyle for a while yet.

chicken and apricot tagine

chicken and apricot tagine

using up: some chicken thighs, peppers in green, red and yellow

We needed to do some cooking for the freezer, so we looked at the ingredient stocks to see what we had.  And what we had was a big bag of chicken thighs in the outside freezer, and thus a chicken tagine was born.

On Friday night, I put some chickpeas in to soak, and then boiled them up on Saturday.  On Sunday afternoon we set to.

I browned all the chicken (some of it went into a batch of lemony chicken with coriander) and set it aside while we scoffed a cooked breakfast!

Then chopped up two red onions, the peppers, and lots of garlic, and cooked them down in some olive oil.  Then we fried in some ground spices – cinnamon, dried ginger, allspice, coriander, returned the chicken to the pan, added chickpeas, a quartered lemon, chopped fresh coriander and a little water.

Put it in a low oven (gas 2-3) for about 2 hours.

Out of about 1.5kg of chicken, we got 7 meals, or 14 portions, including the other dish.  Lovely meals, too.

vegetable tagine

vegetable tagine

Using up: bits of veg – courgettes, carrots, aubergine, spinach

As I said a day or so back, I wanted to do something other than moussaka with the aubergine.  We also had some green beans that needed eating up, a fair number of carrots and a lot of courgettes, so they seemed like suitable candidates for this.

Firstly, I simmered the cut green beans and carrots for 5-6 minutes, as they would need longer to cook than the other veg. I also cooked the last third of the bag of spinach for a couple of minutes, rinsed it under cold water, drained it, and marmalised it in the food processor.

We chopped up two red onions, lots of garlic and two green chillis, and cooked them down in olive oil in my old faithful Le Creuset cast iron casserole.  Then we added some spices, ground up in our trusty spice grinder; Pete did them, and there’s no point in asking for quantities – just do what you think is right.  He did cumin and coriander seeds, allspice, dried ginger, cinnamon and turmeric, and some black pepper.

We added this to the pan and fried them a bit to release the flavour.  Then we added one each of aubergine and courgette, cut into dice, and stirred them around a bit until they were coated with oil.  Added the carrots and green beans, and quite a lot of chickpease (I’d put a big batch into soak on Friday night, and cooked them up yesterday; not sure yet what I’m going to do with them).

Added a tin of tomatoes and a little salt, brought it to the boil, put a lid on it, and simmered for about 25 minutes, then added the spinach puree and simmered for another ten or so.

Ate it with couscous.  I put three tubs in the freezer this morning, so that made eight portions for what can’t have been more than about four quid, which I think is pretty good.  And it was delicious too!