Chicken, quince, lemon and almond tagine

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Quince works really well in savoury dishes. Here it's cooked for less time than usual, so it doesn't develop the intense sweetness of longer methods and has a lighter texture. Serve this tagine with pilaf-style rice.

  • 1 quince
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 100 gm clarified butter
  • 1 chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 60 gm natural almonds
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp each ground ginger and cumin
  • Large pinch of white pepper
  • Large pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 60ml hot water
  • Thinly sliced rind of 1 preserved lemon
  • To taste: lemon juice
  • To serve: pilaf-style rice
01   Peel and halve the quince, squeeze lemon juice over and rub into flesh, then steam quince over a saucepan of simmering water until just tender (20-25 minutes). Set aside until cool, then cut into wedges.
02   Heat half the clarified butter in a large casserole over medium-high heat and brown chicken pieces (5-7 minutes). Remove chicken from pan, add onion and stir occasionally until golden (5-7 minutes), then add almonds and cinnamon and stir occasionally until toasted (3-5 minutes). Transfer to a plate.
03   Heat remaining clarified butter in casserole, add honey and cook over high heat until starting to caramelise (1 minute), then add quince and turn occasionally until golden (2-4 minutes). Set quince aside, add spices and white pepper to pan, stir to combine, then return onion mixture and chicken to the pan with saffron water and preserved lemon, and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and simmer over medium-low heat until chicken is just tender (40-50 minutes). Return quince to pan and cook for a further 20 minutes, then season to taste with salt, white pepper and lemon juice, and serve with a pilaf-style rice.
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