Turkey tagine


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This is a dish of my own invention. I have made it before with just the vegetables and chickpeas, but there was an offer on turkey when I was in the supermarket so I thought ‘why not?’. The veggies, similarly, are the things I had in or that were on offer. You could add onions, squash or even mushrooms. Sometimes I use dried apricots; this time the fresh ones looked great so I used them and some sultanas. I will also hold up my hands and admit I forgot the coriander on this occasion. It’s better with it, though, so I’ve put it in the recipe, but it’s not in the pictures.

I was a bit concerned that this would be too spicy for the kids and, to be honest, it was borderline. If your kids love spicy food, feel free to dial it up with the spices, but if they’re like a lot of kids and a bit sensitive to too much spice (I read somewhere that they have more taste buds than adults, which is why they prefer things a bit blander – does anyone know if that’s true?), then be very stingy with the harissa.

This is a slow-cooked dish so it needs to cook for a couple of hours so it’s good if you want to do most of the cooking work before the kids get back from school or nursery or whatever, but still want a yummy home-cooked dinner.

I served it with lemon and basil cous-cous, chunks of sweet potato and sultanas, finely chopped apricot and pomegranate seeds (or ‘jewels’ as the 3-year-old calls them – too cute!).

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Serves: 6

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 2-3 hours

  • 500g turkey chopped into chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • apricots, quartered
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 medium carrots
  • one yellow and one orange pepper
  • can chickpeas, drained
  • tbsp harissa paste
  • tsp ras el hanout spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • good bunch of coriander
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof pan on the hob and then add the turkey. Add the harissa, raw el hangout and turmeric and mix, ensuring that the turkey chunks are fully covered.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the coriander, and mix, getting the spicy oil all over everything. Then add water (or chicken/veg stock if you have it) to cover everything and bring to the boil.
  3. Once the water is boiling, cover and put in the oven for 2-3 hours.
  4. After 2-3 hours remove the tagine from the oven and, if it seems a bit watery, remove the lid, place it back on the hob and bring to the boil, giving it a bit of a stir to ensure it doesn’t stick. Add coriander.
  5. Serve with cous-cous or rice and/or boiled/roasted sweet potato or squash.

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