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Prep Time 10 minutes - Total Time 1 hour plus marinating - Serves 5

I’ve never been to Morocco but I’ve always wanted to go, the food and country just looks incredible. When I think of Morocco and close my eyes I can see the markets with colourful stalls full of beautiful herbs and spices piled high.

And although I’ve never been to Morocco I’ve eaten my fair few tagines and this is my interpretation. I hope you like it and forgive me if it’s not authentic.

(You will also find this recipe on page 20 of my book Richard’s Family Favourites click here)


  • 700 g of skinless and boneless chicken thighs.

  • 100 g of harissa paste.

  • 1 lemon, juice.

  • 1 large onion, cut in half and finely sliced.

  • 1 heaped teaspoon of cumin.

  • 1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon.

  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground ginger.

  • ½ tsp of allspice.

  • Chilli flakes to taste.

  • 500 g of passata.

  • 2 tbsps of honey.

  • 1 pinch of saffron.

  • 200 ml of boiling water.

  • 130 g of dried apricots.

  • 2 preserved lemons, cut in half and cut into slices.

  • 1 handful of green pitted olives.

  • 1 handful of flaked almonds, toasted.

  • 1 handful of pomegranate seeds.

  • Mixed fresh herbs, mint, parsley and coriander all roughly chopped.


  1. Place the chicken in a bowl or Tupperware with the lemon juice, the harissa paste, season and mix well. Cover and pop into the fridge for a couple of hours or better still overnight.

  2. In a large pot, frying pan or tagines add a splash of olive oil and fry the chicken over a high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Do this in batches if your pan is not big enough, as you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. When done, place the chicken to one side.

  3. Now turn the heat right down to the lowest and add the onions with a pinch of salt. You shouldn’t need to add any oil but if the pan is dry add a splash. Slowly fry the onions for 10-15 minutes or until nice and soft. While the onions are cooking add the saffron to the water and leave to infuse.

  4. When the onions are ready add the spices and fry for a couple of minutes. Return the chicken to the pan followed by the passata, honey, saffron water, apricots, the preserved lemons and finally the green olives. Give everything a good mix and bring up to a boil. Cook over a high heat for 5 minutes (giving it a stir) then reduce, cover with a lid and simmer for 35 minutes.

  5. When done, take off the heat and check for seasoning. Scatter the flaked almonds, pomegranate seeds and chopped herbs over the top and serve with couscous, flatbreads and some natural yoghurt. I also like to add some of the herbs and pomegranates to the couscous.

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