14 September 2015

Chicken, Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine

My sincerest apologies for once more plaguing your newsfeed with food. I gave you a break but now that I'm back to stuffing my face at home I'm once again justifying it by clogging your social media with pictures of my daily gluttony.

The best part about this meal that I chomped down is that not only did I not have to come up with it myself but I also didn't have to write it down. This is a mama Rachel recipe. If you know me well you will now read this post with care and then make it yourself because everyone knows she is the best cook in the world, truly second to none. You will also know that each evening she cooks enough for 1,000 people despite there only being 4 of us so take the quantities with a pinch of salt (not literally because we are a salt-obsessed household and any more salt than in this recipe will likely give you a heart attack).

I've written the methods for each dish separately but remember if you are going for the whole fanfare you must multitask and do the dishes simultaneously.


1. Finely dice a white onion and sauté it with some olive oil until soft and caramelised
top tip: if the onion starts to burn before it's soft, add a little water and keep them cooking

2. Add a chicken stock cube to 500ml of boiling water and stir until the cube is dissolved

3. Rachel says add a pinch of saffron. Set aside. I say I have neither the time nor the money to add saffron so I'm going to set this stage aside. Boo-ya.

4. Add the chicken to the onions and cook on both sides until browned

5. Chop up some coriander stems

7. Add the coriander stems to the pan with the crushed garlic, spices, stock and stir it up

8. Add 2 chopped preserved lemons, stir them in and put on the lid, leaving it to simmer

9. After 30 minutes add the olives and the two final chopped preserved lemons and simmer for 5 minutes more

10. Chop coriander leaves and sprinkle over


1. Cook the couscous according to the packet instructions
Giant couscous cooks differently from normal couscous - I tend to boil it for 6 minutes in a stock cube

2. For the dressing add all the ingredients to the processor and blitz

3. Drain the couscous and leave it to cool

4. Chop the tomatoes, cucumber (get rid of the wet centre), mint and parsley, the rest of the bag of baby spinach

5. When the couscous is cool, add the chopped veg and gently mix to combine

5. Garnish with a few whole mint leaves


1. Add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and half the chickpeas to the processor and blend until all is smooth. Keep the tahini far, far away - in a cupboard, back on the supermarket shelf or for best results... in the bin.

3. Add the other half and pulse until roughly puréed

4. Tip onto a plate and garnish with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of parsley

It pains me to give you instructions for making this because this is a weekly source of contention between myself and my mother. I resolutely believe that there is nothing better than store-bought tzatziki and have to throw a toddler-like tantrum in the supermarket to compel her to buy it. In the same vein, she will throw a tantrum with me if it isn't included.

1. Grate the cucumber and place in a sieve lined with kitchen paper, gently squeeze to get out as much of the juice as possible and then leave to drain for 5 minutes

2. Drain water off the yogurt

3. Into a bowl add the yogurt, salt, chopped mint, crushed garlic and cucumber and stir it all together


1. Slice up the halloumi and fry in a pan

2. Heat up the bread in the oven

Et voilà.

Although there are about 5,000 ingredients in this, I promise that it is worth it.

SERVES 1,000 (or 4)


  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • Olive oil, a glug
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 chicken stock cube or a teaspoon of chicken bouillon
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 chicken thighs  (you could do all thighs or breasts if you preferred)
  • 1 X 28 g pack of fresh coriander (stems finely chopped and leaves) 
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ tsp ras al hanout (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon sumac (optional) 
  • 4 preserved lemons, with the insides scraped out and chopped
  • A handful of green and black olives, stoned & rinsed 
  • 200 Giant cous cous
  • 1 x chicken stock cube or a teaspoon of chicken bouillon
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and deseeded and chopped
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 X bag baby spinach (add a handful to the dressing)
  • ½ pack mint 
  • ½ pack parsley, chopped (hold a few whole leaves back for garnish)
for the dressing
  • 2 spring onions
  • handful of baby spinach leaves 
  • leaves of 4 springs of mint
  • leaves of 4 springs of flat leaf parsley
  • juice of half a lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 can chicken peas – drained and rinsed 
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • A pinch of salt
  • Parsley, to garnish
  • 2 Tablespoons o% greek yog
  • 2 Tablespoons o% regular fat-free yog
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cucumber grated and squeezed
  • 2 springs of mint leaves chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

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