Friday Food: Chicken Tagine

This morning, I’m carrying on the January healthy food theme before a serious return to cake (watch this space!) and yummy things. As the days (and diet) have gone on, I’ve been casting about for interesting recipes that will still keep the calorie (or fat) count down and remembered another Rachel Allen recipe that is a relatively regular weekday meal in our house.

The spices in this chicken tagine make it seem interesting but there’s actually very little in there that will cause dietary offence. I make mine with chicken or turkey breast for ease but you can of course follow the recipe and make with jointed chicken. The addition of chickpeas probably wouldn’t go amiss either if you wanted to bulk it out for hungry mouths.

For the tagine:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 x 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 1 x 2.25 kg chicken, jointed and skinned

For the couscous:

  • 500 g couscous
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 500 ml boiling chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander, mint or parsley
  • 2 satsumas, peeled and chopped

To serve:

  • lemon wedges
  • Greek yogurt


1. For the tagine: heat the oil in a large saucepan (wide enough to hold all the chicken pieces in a single layer). Add the garlic, onions, ginger and the spices. Season with salt and pepper and cook over a low heat with the lid on for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft.
2. Add the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and honey and cook for a further 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick.
3. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cover with the sauce. Simmer over a low heat with the lid on, stirring from time to time, for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
4. For the couscous: put the couscous in a bowl, add the oil and lemon juice and mix well to coat the grains. Pour over the boiling stock and season with salt and pepper.
5. Cover and leave to sit in a warm place until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Use a fork to separate the grains and stir in the herbs and satsuma pieces.

Let me know how you get on as always, or tweet a picture.

Don’t forget too, we’re always looking for Friday Food submissions. If you would like to get involved and have a particular favourite recipe for whatever reason please do drop me a line at


January Food… Healthy Red Thai Curry.

Good afternoon readers! In my healthy recipes for January I had to include a recipe I blogged prior to the launch of Florence Finds, but is too good not to give a proper airing to… I love spicy food and think it really satisfies you, despite this being on the thinner side as far as sauces go, it’s packed with flavour and warmth. Give it a go, you won’t be sorry!

It’s an impossibility isn’t it? Healthy Thai red curry?

Well, actually no! I’ve been revisiting some old Weight Watchers recipes I used to use – this one has actually been a dish that I never dropped from my day to day repertoire and it is super tasty. Even better there’s a full on version or a cheat’s version for what turns into a very quick dinner – just what you need when you’ve just got home from work or the gym.

Healthy Thai Red Curry

Ingredients for the curry paste: (this can be substituted with 2 tablespoons of ready made red Thai curry paste for lazier cooking.)
1/2 a red onion
1 deseeded red chilli
1 small stick of lemongrass
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 a lime
1 inch of root ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon of Thai fish sauce.

Ingredients for the curry:
4 dried lime leaves
150g baby corn, halved
150g sugar snap peas
350g skinless chicken breast
6 spring onions
200ml reduced fat coconut milk
200ml chicken stock
1 teaspoon light brown soft sugar
110g cherry tomatoes, halved
Chopped fresh coriander, to serve.

How to make it…
1. Place the curry paste ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until finely chopped.
2. Stir fry the chicken in a pre-heated wok or frying pan for 3 minutes and then add the paste for a further minute whilst stirring.
3. Add the stock, coconut milk, sugar, vegetables and lime leaves and simmer for 3 minutes.
4. Next add the halved tomatoes and simmer for 2 more minutes.

Serve with basmati rice and the chopped coriander as a garnish. (Remove any lime leaves as you find them!)

Let me know if you’re going to try it!


Friday Food… Phoebe’s Coq Au Vin

For this morning’s Friday Food, we have Phoebe Miller of So You’re getting Married, sharing a recipe that I think is perfect for Bonfire Night – stick it in the oven, enjoy the fireworks and get back to a gorgeous smelling house and hearty food to share.

Take it away Phoebe!

With winter nights drawing in, you really can’t beat wrapping up and eating warm, comforting food. Simple to make, it can be prepared and left to marinade for hours whilst you are out romping in the countryside.

A classic dish that every aspiring domestic goddess should have under her culinary belt is ‘Coq Au Vin’. There are so many recipes for this famous dish – the following is an amalgamation of various.

*Image credit – Martha Stewart

(Serves 4)

4 Chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks, skin on
140g pancetta (or bacon)
12 small shallots
2 celery sticks, cut chunkily
2 carrots, cut chunkily
2-3 garlic cloves, bruised
250g chestnut mushrooms, halved
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
25g of plain flour, seasoned. Plus 1 tbsp
1tbsp oil
15g butter
75cl of good red (basically a whole bottle)
4 tbsp brandy (optional, mainly for lushes)

Pour the wine and brandy in to a pan and boil over a high heat for 5 minutes until reduced by roughly a third. Set aside. Place the onions in a bowl, pour boiling water over and leave for 5 minutes – drain, peel and halve. Put the onions in to a bowl with the chicken, celery, carrots, garlic, bay and thyme. Pour the wine over and make sure everything is coated. It’s best left over night but a minimum of 5 hours would be fine.

When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C (160C for fan.) Drain the chicken, reserving the wine (make sure you do this, I failed first time.) Toss the chicken in the seasoned flour.

Heat the oil and butter in a large casserole dish over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the pancetta and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden and then remove with a slotted spoon. Set the pancetta aside.

Add the chicken to the pan (try to get a single layer) and cook for 5 minutes turning occasionally until browned all over. Set aside.

Add the drained vegetables, herbs and mushrooms to the casserole dish. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the 1 tbsp of plain flour and cook for 30 seconds, gradually add the wine. Season and return the chicken and pancetta to the pan, bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy with a roaring fire, a large glass of red and friends.

Mmmmmm. I so want to make this one. I can see Friday food is not going to be good for my waistline. But every domestic goddess should have coq au vin under her belt, right?

Friday Food is another area of Florence Finds where we want you to get involved. Have you got a signature dish you would like to share? Your Grandmother’s Victoria sponge that has been passed down? Or a recipe from a book which you think warrants publicising?

Send your recipes (and pictures if you have them,) to and if Florence likes them, we’ll post ’em!

Roll on Friday Frock O’clock,


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