I’m a member of the Facebook group, ‘Slow Cooker Saddos’. It’s a gem for the foodie voyeur, if only for the dimly-lit photographs of unidentifiable casseroles. I remember shunning the slow cooker after Nigella branded it a crime against cooking (along with electric carving knives – I can agree with her there). I’ve since discovered that very, very occasionally Nigella gets it wrong – such is the case with her recipe for ‘meatzza’ and her judgement on the SC. As somebody who is guilty of being irritatingly chipper in the mornings, chopping vegetables and chucking them into a slow cooker is not beyond me. Plus, it turns lentils and pork belly into something joyously frugal and delicious, but that’s another story.
This tagine can be made in the slow cooker, or in the oven on low for a couple of hours. You can also add a tin of chickpeas, a chopped preserved lemon, some black olives – you could even use lamb instead of chicken; as long as it sings with spice and coriander, you can’t go far wrong.
On a side note, life is good. The last couple of days have involved Wes Anderson, birthday joviality and eating expensive, pillowy hirita buns stuffed with strips of crispy-skinned pork. Stress will recommence shortly.
Chicken tagine with apricots
500g chicken thigh fillets (bone-in thighs would also be good – or diced lamb)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp honey
300ml chicken stock
1 can chopped tomatoes
60g dried apricots
a handful of coriander leaves a liberal sprinkle of flour
Coat the chicken in half the spices and leave for a few hours. Of course, if you’re short on time/have forgotten this step, just coat the chicken and seal the meat in the hot oil. Remove the browned meat and chuck in slow cooker or casserole dish.
Gently fry the sliced onions with the chopped garlic and the rest of the spices. Cook on low until the onions have softened. Now add a good sprinkle of flour and mix – this just ensures the sauce thickens nicely.
Add the tomatoes, stock, apricots, sultanas and honey. Bring to the boil then transfer to the slow cooker with the meat, or the casserole pot. Now either cook at 160 degrees for 2.5 hours in the oven, or on low in the SC for six hours.
Add a liberal amount of coriander and serve with couscous