Moroccan Lunch Bill Granger Photo: Photography: Kristin Perers Food Chicken, fennel and zucchini tagine. Photo: Kristin Perers

I love a tagine. It’s comforting like a stew, but much lighter and fresher. This one is so quick and simple that we enjoy it often as a family dinner. When I want to elevate it to a meal for friends, I’ll serve it with a big platter of salads, nuts and herbs.


The trick to a great tagine is in having a really light, flavoursome broth.


2 tbsp olive oil

8 chicken thighs

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 tsp ground cumin

large pinch of saffron

½ tbsp harissa

1 tbsp honey

1 fennel bulb, cut into thick wedges

3 cups chicken stock

400g can chickpeas, drained

2 zucchini, cut into chunks

juice of ½ lemon

small handful flat-leaf parsley leaves

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-based pan over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, skin-side down, for 6-8 minutes until golden, then turn chicken over.

Add onions and fry for another 6-8 minutes, until onions begin to soften. Stir in garlic, cumin, saffron, harissa and honey and cook, stirring, for a further minute.

Add fennel to pan, pour in stock and bring to boil. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add chickpeas and zucchini, then cook for a further 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Add lemon juice and more salt and harissa, to taste, then stir in parsley. Serve with the Moroccan salad platter (see recipe below).

Bill’s tipI usually like my vegetables to have bite, but for the tagine you want to cook the fennel and zucchini until they become meltingly tender.


There are no rules with these two salads: stir some pistachios into the quinoa, or use the zingy carrot and beetroot as a palate cleanser. Anything goes!


for the quinoa salad

2 tbsp olive oil

juice of ½ orange

1 garlic clove, crushed

½ tsp ground cinnamon

100g sultanas

400g quinoa

small handful mint leaves, chopped

for the carrot and beetroot salad

½ tsp cumin seeds

3 tbsp pumpkin seeds

2 large carrots, coarsely grated

1 large beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated

1 tsp caster sugar

juice of ½ lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

to serve

5 spring onions

handful coriander leaves

handful mint leaves

lemon wedges

½ cup toasted pistachios

First, prepare the quinoa. Combine olive oil, orange juice, garlic, cinnamon and sultanas in a large bowl. Set aside. Cook quinoa in salted boiling water until just tender. Drain and toss into bowl with orange and sultana dressing. Stir in mint and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For carrot and beetroot salad, toast cumin seeds and pumpkin seeds in a frying pan over a low heat for 1 minute. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix carrots and beetroot together. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss into salad with the seeds and season.

Place quinoa on a platter with carrot and beetroot salad, spring onions, herbs, lemon and pistachios. Serve with the chicken tagine (see recipe opposite).

Food preparation by Marina Filippelli. Props styling by Rachel Jukes.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.