A warmly spiced and fragrant stew with a thick sauce, rounded off with sweetness from dried prunes and apricots and saltiness from olives.
Serves: 4 people
Time: 1.5 hours
* indicates optional ingredients
2 teaspoons ghee (or other cooking fat)
8 organic skin-on chicken thighs
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
2 green cardamom pods
2 onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, sliced
1.5 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cloves
Generous grating nutmeg
1 tin plum tomatoes
2-3 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 dried apricots (unsulphured - avoid the bright orange ones!)
4 black olives (I used stone-in kalamata olives, just remove the stone before adding)
1 pouch of Organic Chicken Bone Broth
1 butternut squash, cubed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Freshly chopped tarragon and parsley (or any fresh herbs)
Serve with bread and lashings of butter*
Heat up ghee in large pot and brown the chicken thighs really well. Remove thighs from the pot and set aside.
Add more fat to the pan if there isn't much remaining from the chicken. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cardamom to the fat. Once they're sizzling, add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are nicely caramelised.
Add the garlic and stir fry until it loses its raw aroma.
Add in all of the ground spices and stir fry, just to toast them.
Add in all the ingredients from plum tomatoes down to butternut squash. Give the pot a good stir, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down.
Place chicken thighs, along with any delicious juices it's released, back into the pot. Put the lid on and simmer gently until the chicken is soft, the fruit has melted into the sauce and all the flavours have happily melded together.
Season with salt and pepper. Add a squeeze of lemon juice or a sprinkle of sumac for acidity, if needed.
Stir through your fresh herbs, and serve with something to soak up the unctuous sauce: hunks of bread and butter, quinoa, rice, couscous, polenta, or even cauliflower rice.