This is a bit of a ‘cheatie’ tagine, but it is incredibly quick and easy, very very tasty and packed with goodness. All you need to do is pop the chicken in the oven, surround it with some nice vegatables and spices, maybe something tasty that might be lurking in the fridge like a few green olives and hey presto, an hour later you have a delicious and healthy meal for four. We ate it last night with Basmati and wild rice, a good low G.I. option for sustained energy…and it seems that the whole family needs that extra little boost of energy at the moment what with the end of term rush with the kids, the launch of Go Faster Food and our new training schedule for the Bristol Half Marathon and the Monster Challenge in September.
Mark and James have also started pre-season rugby training with the Old Bristolians. It looks like some kind of military torture to me, but they seem to enjoy it! For me, it is just another evening activity around which I’ve got to fit a decent, energy-boosting meal. It is sometimes very hard to fit eating properly into such busy lifestyles!
We like to eat this sort of dish with a green salad tossed with a nice dijon mustard dressing.
Cheat’s Chicken, Artichoke and Green Olive Tagine with Basmati and Wild Rice
Ingredients – serves 4
1 whole free range chicken 1 large onion, finely sliced 1 tin artichokes, 1 tin chickpeas Handful of green olives 2 sticks celery, sliced into 5 cm lengths , 1 green pepper, chopped into chunks 1 green chilli, deseeded and slcied finely 2 tsp cumin seeds and 2 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and roughly ground with pestle and mortar , 1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika , 1 cinnamon stick Plenty of fresh flat-leaved parsley Salt and freshly ground black pepper Extra virgin olive oil (c. 3 tablespoons) Chicken stock (enough to just cover the vegetables) plus a tbsp plain flour to thicken sauce Glass of white wine (optional) 300g Basmati and Wild Rice
- Heat the oven to 200 C.
- Take the chicken and turn it upside down. With a sharp knife, cut through the bone and lay out the chicken “spatchcock style”, breast side up, on a large roasting pan. (If this worries you, take a look at the nice man in this YouTube video who demonstrates very clearly how to do it, although you don’t have to worry about removing the back bone -How to spatchcock a chicken )
- Scatter the onions, chickpeas and other vegetables around the pan.
- Put a tablespoon of plain flour into a jug and make a paste with a little of the stock, then gradually pour the rest of the stock into the jug.
- Pour the stock (and wine, if using) over the vegetables around the chicken but not over the chicken. Add the cinnamon stick.
- Drizzle the chicken with plenty of olive oil and then scatter the whole dish, including the chicken with the spice mix and season generously.
- Bake in the oven for about 1 hour, until the chicken is crispy on top and cooked through.
- Add the parsley and serve with the rice which you will have prepared according to the pack instructions while the chicken was cooking.