Orange and fennel bring freshness to this rich Moroccan chicken tagine. It’s simple to cook, but impressive enough for a dinner party. Serve with bread or couscous.
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 large chicken legs
- 3 large onions (about 600g/1lb 5oz), sliced
- 2 large fennel bulbs (about 600g/1lb 5oz), stalks and fronds discarded, sliced
- 100g/3½oz raisins
- 1 large orange, zest and juice
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 200ml/7fl oz vegetable or chicken stock
- handful mint leaves, chopped
- 1 orange, peel only, cut into very thin strips
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken legs (in batches if necessary), skin-side down, and sear for about 5 minutes until golden-brown. Make sure the oil is very hot before adding the chicken – you should hear a sizzle when the skin touches the pan, otherwise it isn’t hot enough. The skin will be released naturally from the chicken flesh once seared, so don’t be tempted to remove it beforehand. Transfer the seared chicken to a dish and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions, cover the pan and leave to cook for about 10–15 minutes or until they are soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the sliced fennel, raisins, orange zest, garlic, ground coriander, turmeric, ginger and salt and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Return all the chicken legs to the pan and pour in the stock and orange juice. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and leave to simmer gently for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked, stirring occasionally. If it looks like there isn’t enough liquid in the pan at any point during the cooking process, add a few tablespoons water.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and, if necessary, adjust the consistency of the sauce. The sauce needs to be pourable but not soup-like, if the sauce is too dry add a few tablespoons water to the pan and if it’s too liquid, cook for a few minutes to reduce the sauce. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Return the chicken to the pan and heat through. Garnish with the mint and orange zest and enjoy with couscous or bread.