I have a new tagine. It’s a fancy one – Staub. It cost way too much, but it’s the first tagine I’ve had that does the full job – it works on the stovetop, and in the oven. Until now, I’ve used a 45 year old enamel pot that came to me through my mother in law, and I will still use that lovely pot, but the added bonus with a tagine like this is that it looks damn good on a table.I’m still inspired by my trip to Jordan, and after cooking mansaf the other day, I thought of my tagine, and chicken. Chicken is so tender and juicy when poached in milk. Jamie Oliver has a great recipe that I had made when my family still included regular dairy in the diet. But now I use camel milk due to its better casein profile. It also has a richer flavour, a light tang and an incredible creaminess despite its low fat content. Camel milk is readily available here in Dubai – for those who can’t find it, substitute with buttermilk rather than regular milk, otherwise it will be a little bland, as I use fillets in this recipe rather than a whole chicken.
- 4 chicken breast fillets, sliced into large chunks (3-4 per fillet depending on size)
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- a good slug of nice olive oil for browning
- chicken stock cube (crumbled)
- rind of one lemon (large pieced peeled rather than shredded or grated)
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- a cinnamon quill
- 350ml camel milk (or buttermilk – tips for turning regular milk into buttermilk here and here)
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F), then set your pot or tagine on the stovetop at a high heat.
- Brown chicken with olive oil and garlic, then add the rest of the ingredients to the pot
- Bring to a gentle boil, then pop in the oven for one hour (covered)
Serve with short-grained rice, maybe with a saffron flavour, and buttered baby peas, or with big chunks of crusty bread and a green salad with herbs.
This is a seriously easy dish, and the kids adored it (with rice and peas).