Tomatoes and saffron are a match made in heaven and in this recipe the combination of the two is further enhanced with the addition of honey which really brings out the sweetness in the tomatoes. This Moroccan stew or tagine is from one of my favourite cook books, You Say Tomato by Joanne Weir. Every recipe in the book showcases the tomato and I’ve yet to try a dish that hasn’t been delicious. It’s a cook book with no photographs and therefore probably slipped under most peoples radar. I purchased it at least 8 years ago and shortly after never saw it on the shelves again, such a shame as it’s one cookbook I go back to repeatedly. If you ever come across it I highly recommend snapping it up. This recipe is comforting and simple enough for a mid-week family meal but elegant enough for company too. It can be made a day or two in advance for convenience and tastes even better reheated. Serve with cous cous or rice.
Ingredients – Serves 6 -8 and freezes well Adapted from You Say Tomato by Joanne Weir
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
2 large onions, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon saffron threads
2 kgs chicken thigh fillets
5 large red ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup chicken stock
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup sliced almonds toasted
Heat the butter and oil in a large casserole over medium heat. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring for about 5-8 minutes or until softened and golden brown. Add the tomato paste, cumin and saffron and fry for a few more minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken and stir until all the chicken pieces are coated in the spices and onions. Add the chicken stock, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Add a little water as needed if the pot gets too dry.
Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Add the honey and cinnamon to the pot and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sauce is thick about 8-12 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer until the chicken is hot again, 3- 4 minutes. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, place the chicken on a platter, pour the sauce over it and garnish with the almonds.