Chicken Apricot Tagine

This tagine is both fruity and spicy. The rosemary and ginger give it a delightful aroma. It can be made with chicken pieces, pheasant, or duck, and needs only a buttery couscous and a leafy salad to accompany it. Traditionally this is served in a towering tagine crockery.
Spicy chicken tagine with apricots, rosemary, and ginger.
Yield 4 servings

8 chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 sprigs of rosemary, 1 finely chopped, the other 2 cut in half
1-1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 red chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick (or more to taste)
3/4 cup dried apricots
2 tablespoons clear honey
1 14-oz can plum tomatoes with their juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch of fresh green or purple basil leaves

1 Over medium-high heat, heat oil and butter in a tagine or heavy-based skillet or braising pan.
2 Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then add to oil and brown them on both sides (you may need to do this in batches). Remove to a plate as they are browned.
3 Stir in onion, chopped rosemary, ginger, and chiles and sauté until the onion begins to soften.
4 Stir in the halved rosemary sprigs and the cinnamon sticks, then push mixture to sides of pan. Place thighs back in pan, skin side up. Nestle apricots around the thighs. Drizzle the honey over all.
5 Pour in plum tomatoes with their juice. Add a little water if necessary, to ensure there is enough liquid to cover the base of the tagine and submerge the apricots. The chicken should be half-submerged.
6 Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 35 to 40 minutes.
7 Season to taste with salt and pepper. Shred the larger basil leaves and leave the small ones intact. Sprinkle them over the chicken and serve immediately.
8 Serve with couscous or rice.

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