Friday, June 8, 2012

Chicken Tajine with Quince

Quince is in season, so it is good time to try a tagine recipe from chef Hassan M'Souli, who runs several Moroccan restaurants in Sydney, Australia.

Fresh ripe quinces

1.6 kg chicken pieces, e.g. 8 chicken thighs
2 tbsp fresh Mint leaves
2 tsp Saffron thread
1 cup Orange juice
Salt and freshly grounded black pepper
6 tbsp Olive oil
2 brown onions, julienned
2 tsp Ginger powder
1 stick Cinnamon
2 cups of water
2 ripe Quinces, cut into 8 pieces with core and seeds removed
Quarter cup Honey
1 tsp ground sweet cinnamon


Wash and dry the chicken with paper towels
In a large bowl, mix the saffron, orange juice and chopped mint together. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate the chicken with this mixture, and leave it for at least an hour.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot ( I use a Le Creuset iron-cast pot), add the onions and cook until it is soft. Add the ginger and cinnamon stick and then the marinated chicken. Pour the marinate mixture in the pot. Add one cup of water, enough to barely cover the chicken. Place the lid on the pot and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes. Take the chicken pieces out and set aside.
While keeping the heat on the simmering stock, add the pieces of quince, the honey, cinnamon and add enough water (not more than the remaining 1 cup) to cover the quinces. Stir gently and bring to boil, then reduce to a smimmer. Cover the pot and cook for another 15 minutes. Return the chicken in the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve with couscous or crusty bread.