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Fiery Chicken and Fig Tagine

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    A tagine is a North African stew that gets its name from the conical clay pot in which it is cooked. However, you don’t need a tagine to make this—a large wide saucepan or Dutch oven will do the trick. Using bone-in chicken thighs is a time-saver, as they cook faster than typical stewing meat—plus the bones add flavour without extra fat.

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    1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 large white onion, chopped
    8 bone-in chicken thighs (skin removed)
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground ginger
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) harissa (see Tip)
    2 1/2 cups (625 mL) chicken stock
    1 cup (250 mL) dried red lentils
    10 dried figs, cut in half
    1 thick strip preserved lemon or fresh lemon peel, cut into thin strips (about 2 tsp/10 mL)
    1/4 cup (60 mL) mint, chopped
    1/4 cup (60 mL) cilantro, chopped
    4 tsp (20 mL) pomegranate seeds (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

    Heat oil in bottom of tagine or large wide saucepan set over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes.

    Meanwhile, coat chicken with ginger and harissa.

    Pour stock into pan and stir in lentils. Add chicken. Bring to a boil, then cover.

    Bake in oven for 30 to 35 minutes, then stir in figs and preserved lemon or lemon peel. Continue baking until chicken is very tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in mint and cilantro.

    Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with pomegranate. Serve with yogourt if you wish.

    Serves 4.

    Each serving contains:
    318 calories; 26 g protein; 10 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 34 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 165 mg sodium

    Tip

    Harissa is a spicy chili paste available in ethnic grocery stores. If you can’t find it, substitute 1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced chili pepper.

    source: "Soul Bowls" from alive #349, November 2011

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    Fiery Chicken and Fig Tagine

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