Tu­ni­sian Tagine with Cheese and Chicken

The next in our series of re­cipes is one from Tu­nisia, brought to us by Samah Djebbi.

Back home, Sunday was always “Cous­cous Day with Tagine” for us. As children we’d always be hel­ping Mama to pre­pare the food – pee­ling and chop­ping the ve­ge­ta­bles and such. And you can be sure that we’d always try and pinch some of the fried diced potato … however loud Mama’s in­di­gnant pro­tests, it was simply to de­li­cious to resist! I often find myself thin­king back on those days, and it’s always with a smile.

Sunday is Cous­cous Day with Tagine, no ques­tion. And it’s a child­hood tra­di­tion that I carry on with my own family today.
Now it’s my two sons who lend me a hand, and they too will hap­pily pilfer some of those scrump­tious potato cubes in­tended for the tagine.

La Marsa – from Samah Djebbi

Tagine is a kind of hearty soufflé, which can be served as a side dish or main course with some salad. There are va­rious ways of making it. You can pre­pare with tuna, minced meat, or moz­za­rella. The ver­sion I’m showing you today is our own per­sonal fa­vou­rite – tagine with cheese and chicken.

In­gre­dients:

  • 8 po­ta­toes
  • 2 chi­cken breasts
  • 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • 8 eggs (size M to L)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ground co­ri­ander
  • Tur­meric
  • 200 g grated cheese, e.g. pizza cheese, Gouda or Emmental
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Oil for frying

Pre­pa­ra­tion:

Wash the po­ta­toes and chi­cken, and dice into small cubes. Wash the parsley and chop finely, dice the onion.  Fry the diced po­ta­toes in a frying pan with plenty of oil, and allow to drip dry on some kit­chen paper. Heat some oil in a sau­cepan and sauté the onions. Now add the chi­cken and the crushed cloves of garlic, season well with salt, pepper, co­ri­ander and tur­meric, and sauté. Add a little water and simmer. Once the chi­cken is cooked well through (about 15 mi­nutes), add the washed parsley and steam to leave a vis­cous liquid con­sis­tency at the end.

Now whisk the eggs in a bowl, then add all the re­mai­ning in­gre­dients (chi­cken, po­ta­toes and cheese), and mix ever­ything well tog­e­ther. Add a little more sea­so­ning if you like, and pour ever­ything into a gre­ased oven-proof dish.

Bake for around 30 min. in the oven at 180 °C, upper/lower heat on, until golden brown.

Remove from oven, allow to cool, then turn over onto a plate. Cut into pieces of the re­quired size, and serve.

Tu­ni­sian Tajine with cheese and chicken

Shehia Taiba (or Bon Ap­petit if you like)

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