Please bear with me because this is complicated (for you) and exhausting (for me):
The young red hens must be separated from the black hen to be fed; she bullies them relentlessly, preventing them from eating. It is imperative, however, that they eat with the white hen who calms and protects them. The barking dog must be kept at a distance as he is inclined to fluster eating hens, potentially causing indigestion or choking. The oldest horse (who roams the grounds because everyone is bothersome in his book), must also be kept away from the hens, even the belligerent black one, as he would not hesitate to stomp and blow air through his nostrils with intent to gain access to more grain. He is temporarily condemned to the tool shed (yes, really :-)), while the hens eat in the tack room. For all of this to be achieved, the black hen must be repeatedly chased, the dog restrained from shredding his lead and Texas, the extremely wilful old horse, prevented from either breaking the tool shed door down or harming himself on the chainsaw. Thankfully the cat, having no doubt pulled an all-nighter, is asleep somewhere and therefore not a problem.
I find the fragrant aroma of tagine cooking very calming , which is why I make it on a regular basis 😉 Is 9am too early for brandy?
Ingredients (serves 4):
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
8 chicken thighs
2 orange, peeled and roughly chopped (2cm)
6 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
150g chickpeas, precooked
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500ml chicken stock
Fresh coriander to serve
There is a mixed Moroccan spice you can buy called Raz el Hamout, which combines all of the above spices and sometimes more. If you have some, you may use it in place of the separate spices.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Gently brown the onions, garlic and chicken in the olive oil in a medium-sized casserole dish. Once golden brown (this should take about eight minutes), add the orange segments, seasoning and spices and continue to brown for a further five minutes. Add the chickpeas and chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook in the oven for about an hour and a half or until the sauce is beginning to caramelise.