Orange and Fennel Tagine with Chicken

What do you do when life hands you an orange and a fennel bulb?

Actually, you can do many things:

-      a salad

-      a smoothie

-      a soup

-      a cake? ok maybe not…

Me, I make a tagine. Not because I am Moroccan and Moroccans only eat tagines, (which is untrue) but just because I love love love cooked fennel.

It’s funny since I don’t really like dill… I always take it off my shop-bought salmon sandwiches, now I am wondering who on earth decided that salmon and dill were the “perfect” combination,

Anyway, let’s get back to cooked fennel. I use to never eat fennel - you know because of my slight aversion to dill - until I went to cooking school and we made fish risotto with caramelized fennel. The caramelised fennel tasted like heaven!

And this is when my deep love affair with fennel started. 

That said, I still have mixed feelings about raw fennel. So when life hands me an orange and a fennel bulb, I make tagine with chicken (cause we need protein, don’t we?) and I jazz it up with raisins, chopped chilli peppers and fresh mint.

It was so good, I can’t wait to finish the leftovers.

Orange and fennel tagine with chicken 4.jpg

Orange and fennel tagine with chicken

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg whole chicken cut in pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, chopped (600 gr)
  • 2 large fennel bulbs - discard the stalks and the dill, sliced (600 gr) 
  • 100 gr raisins
  • 1 cup water (250 ml) 
  • 1 orange, peel cut into strips and juiced
  • 1 chili, seeded and chopped 
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped,  about 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

Garnish

  • 1 chilli pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 10 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Zest of an orange 

METHOD

• In a large casserole warm the olive oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is warm, transfer the rest of the ingredients and lower the heat to low high (don't forget the orange juice). Stir gently, cover the casserole with a lid and let simmer for 40 minutes.

• At this stage, the chicken should be practically cooked. Uncover the casserole and let simmer for an extra 20 minutes or more  to reduce a 1/3 of the sauce.

• Once the chicken is cooked, the fennel is soft and the sauce has reduced, your tagine will be ready. Garnish and enjoy with couscous, brown rice or bread.