This recipe honours traditional Jewish Moroccan tagines, but without the need for a special pot. Flavoured with cinnamon, and full of sweet fruit, this is a perfect celebration dish, especially good for Rosh Hashanah. It freezes well.
● 40g flaked almonds
● 2 chickens, about 1.6kg each, each cut into 8 pieces (or 16 pieces - any combination of breasts, thighs and legs) rinsed and dried well
● Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
● 60ml grapeseed or rapeseed oil
● 2 large onions, cut into 1cm dice
● ½ tsp saffron threads, ground, powdered or crushed
● 480ml chicken stock
● 2 cinnamon sticks, each about 7.5cm long
● 265g pitted prunes
● 150g dried apricots
● 4 tbsp honey
● Heat a large frying pan or large roasting pan on the hob over a medium-high heat. Add the almonds and toast, stirring, until lightly coloured, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
● Season the chicken. Heat half of the oil in the pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken in batches and sauté until brown, turning once, about 12 minutes per batch. Set aside. If the oil or browned bits in the pan have burned, wipe out the pan.
● Add the remaining oil to the pan. Sauté the onions, until they are translucent, about 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the saffron to the stock and pour over the chicken. Add the cinnamon, bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
● Transfer the white meat to the plate. Add the prunes and apricots to the pan and simmer until the rest of the chicken is done, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the plate and discard the cinnamon sticks.
● Add the honey to the pan and cook over a medium-high heat until the liquid is syrupy and coats a spoon, 15–20 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, baste with the sauce, cover and warm.
● Transfer all to a warmed platter, add almonds, and serve.