Morrocan-Style Chicken Tagine with Basmati Rice

Like a good curry, double the recipe as it is even better the following day.
The recipe calls for Ras-El-Ahnout which transports you to a different world.
Often used for Couscous, Ras-El-Hannout is a beautiful spice mix which can be store-bought or as per below, can be made at home. Check out the Recipe below.

8 Chicken thighs with skin on
1 Large Onion cut in halves and sliced
1 Large Garlic clove
4 Cloves
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
2 Tablespoon Ras-El-Hannout OR
1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, 3 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick)
2 Cups of Basmati Rice
1/4 cup of Raisin
3 1/2 Cups of Chicken broth – (Water + Chicken broth cube/gel)
Salt & Pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil

I use a Staub Cast Iron pot for this recipe, a very versatile and efficient tool, to have in any kitchen.

Pre-heated your oven at 180 Celsius
Salt & Pepper all the chicken pieces and saute in the oil, until all sides are brown and crispy. The idea is not to cook the chicken pieces, as most of the cooking will be done in the oven, but simply give flavours to the dish.
Remove most of the fat from the chicken renderings and add the onions which you cook until translucent.
Add the Turmeric and Ras-El-Hannout, salt & pepper and add the basmati rice which you will have washed prior. Saute everything together, until all the grains are covered in spices. Add the chicken broth and cover the rice with the chicken pieces.
Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Garnish with finely sliced scallions, parsley of fresh coriander.

Ras-El-Hannout Spice Mix recipe – Which means Top Shelf in Arabic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix well and keep in a sealed jar away from light. It keeps for several months. You can use this spice mixture in several tajine recipes or in a simple couscous with vegetables.

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