Christmas chicken tagine

Mary Llewellin
Friday, November 27, 2015

A seasonal recipe fusing a festive bird and British vegetables with dried fruit and spices from North Africa and the Middle East


Try this Christmas chicken tagine with sprout and cranberry couscous. Serves ten.


500g free-range chicken breast, diced into 2cm cubes

350g couscous

2 medium carrots, finely chopped

2 sticks of celery, finely chopped

100g dried apricots, chopped

400g chopped tomatoes

350g Brussels sprouts

1 large parsnip, finely chopped

100g dried dates, chopped

1 medium onion

herbs and spices: 1 tbsp sweet paprika, bunch of coriander, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp nutmeg, 4 bay leaves


Put a large saucepan of water on to boil with two of the bay leaves. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan and sauté the chopped vegetables and the garlic for five minutes, stirring to prevent burning.

In a dry frying pan, toast the cumin seeds quickly over a medium heat, then add them to the vegetables with all the other spices and two bay leaves. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and a cup of boiling water.

Chop the stalks of the coriander, retaining the leaves for garnish, then add the chopped dates, apricots, chicken and coriander stalks, mix them in and leave everything to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile prepare the couscous: slice your sprouts finely, heat a tablespoon of oil in the cumin pan and saute the sprouts for 30 seconds, add the cranberries.

Leave the sprouts and cranberries to soften on a low heat. Check the level of your boiling water – you need about 1½ cups – and pour in the couscous, then remove immediately from the heat, leaving until water is absorbed.

Give it a quick stir, add the sprouts and cranberries and gently combine. Cover with a lid and leave to one side until the tagine is ready. Serve the tagine with the couscous and sprinkle with the coriander leaves.

For the recipe, with pictures, see pages 18-19 of Snapdragons’ magazine at

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