I recently wrote about our favorite fresh fruit recipe and I’ve been asked to share more of our classic recipes. This one is from the Middle East, though some say it can also be found in India, called Chicken Tagine with Dates and Honey.
Again, it comes from our favorite cookbook series, The Australian Women’s Weekly, specifically part of their Cooking Class series on Middle Eastern Cooking.
What makes this fun is that there are many ways to prepare it and it is great for traveling. You can mix up all the dry spices and even cook the chicken and store it in the cooler until you are ready to put it all together. Or cook it all up and then freeze it without the nuts or corriander. It can easily be warmed up once thawed. It does, however, take some time to cook. The smells will get everyone salivating. It’s worth it!
Chicken Tagine With Dates and Honey
Prep Time: 5 minutes – Cooking Time: 2 hours – Serves 4-6
9 (1kg) chicken thigh fillets (we prefer and often use boneless chicken breasts)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium (300g) onions finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chilli power (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups (375ml) chicken stock (low salt or salt free is best)
1 cup (250ml) water
1/2 cup (85g) seedless dates, halved
1/4 cup (60ml) honey
1/2 cup (80g) blanched almonds, toasted is nice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves
Cut chicken into strips. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in pan and add chicken in batches, cooking until brown. Drain on absorbent paper.
Heat remaining oil in same pan, adding onions, garlic and spices to cook until onions are soft.
Add chicken back to the pan and cover with stock and water. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
Remove lid, simmer about 30 minutes or until mixture is thickened slightly and chicken is tender (the smells are wonderful).
Stir in chopped dates, honey and nuts and sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve alone or over white rice.
Note: Reheat on the stove and not the microwave to keep chicken from turning tough and chewy.