Chicken tagine with peas and fennel

Serves 4

This is a nice seasonal sharing dish that you could serve at a dinner party. It's not always practical to cook the stew in the actual tagine itself, which is why tagines are usually used just for serving in.

12 boned and skinned chicken thighs weighing about 500g, halved if they are large
1tbsp flour
1tbsp vegetable or corn oil
1tbsp olive oil
3 medium onions, peeled, halved and finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
30g root ginger, peeled and finely grated
1tsp paprika
2tsp ground cumin
tsp ground turmeric
tsp ground cardamom
A good pinch of saffron
1 ltrs chicken stock or 2 stock cubes dissolved in that amount of water
2 small fennel bulbs, quartered
200g shelled weight of peas (fresh or frozen)
2tbsp chopped coriander, to garnish

Season and lightly flour the chicken thighs then pan-fry them in the vegetable oil for a couple of minutes on each side or until they are nicely browned. Put them to one side.

Meanwhile, gently cook the onions in the olive oil in a covered pan with all the spices for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often until they are soft and beginning to colour. You may need to add a little water if they are sticking to the bottom.

Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Add the chicken pieces and fennel and cook for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the fennel is cooked. Add the peas and continue cooking until tender.

The liquid should be fairly well reduced by now, if not, continue simmering until it thickens. Garnish with the coriander.

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