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How To Make North African Tagine

tagine.jpg

Nestling opposite the bustle of London's Bond Street tube station is a quiet side street devoid of tourists and sales shoppers.

This unhurried gem is St Christopher's Place, home to a selection of boutique shops, unique men's fashion outlets and Moroccan restaurant Ayoush - masters of North African food we've fallen well short of creating with our ready-mixed packet attempts.

Having begged for an insight into their art, Ayoush director Tarek Elaved was kind enough to share their Tagine recipe, for both their marvellous lamb and chicken variants. With minimal fuss and capable of dishing out to a dinner party of 8, you've just found your next social culinary staple.

Ingredients

(Serves 8)

2.3kg Chicken legs/ 1kg Lamb, diced

3g Fresh ginger

3g Cinnamon sticks

17g Rosemary

1/3 bunch of Parsley

1/3 bunch of Coriander

1tsp Turmeric powder

1tsp Black pepper

1/2 tsp Sea salt

30g Preserved lemon

700g Onion, chopped (600g for Lamb)

40g Garlic, finely chopped

2tsp Olive oil

2tsp Vegetable oil

1.7g Thyme

Method

First, you'll want to warm up a large pot that you'll be able to cover - ideally a tagine pot (the clue's in the name). This will allow you to contain all of the flavours and keep your chicken/lamb superbly moist.

Preparation of the spices is simple: add them to a spice grinder and blend them to a paste. For those with a bit of time on their hands, take care of this the night before your cook. Rub the paste over your chicken or lamb and allow it to marinate for 24 hours. Otherwise, coat your chicken or lamb while your pot is heating.

Once your cooking pot is warmed through, add your oils and the chopped onion. Fry them gently until soft.

Then add your meat and allow it to fry for a couple of minutes before adding your preserved lemon, thyme and garlic.

If you're cooking chicken, add enough water to just cover your meat and bring it to a gentle boil for 4-5 minutes.

Place the lid on your cooking pot, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook through for 35 minutes to an hour - the longer you cook for, the more tender your end product will be.

Serving suggestions

Chicken dish garnish: preserved lemon and olives

Lamb dish garnish: prunes, apricots and golden raisins

Ayoush can be found on 58 James Street, London W1U 1HG

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