I love aubergines.. I could literally eat them everyday. Grilled, fried, oven-baked, stewed… whatever! So this recipe is for all the aubergine lovers out there. Oven-baken then sautéed in harissa-infused sauce. You can easily make this into a vegetarian dish by skipping the chicken breasts and replacing chicken stock with veg stock (you don’t need to change the quantities of any of the other ingredients since the recipe is for a rather hefty portion). Yum!
2 chicken breasts (thighs might be better for this recipe but chicken breasts was all I had in the fridge)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 large aubergine
1/2 cup couscous
500 ml organic chicken stock + extra for couscous
250g chopped canned tomatoes
1/2 tbsp tomato puree
1 bay leave
for the harissa paste:
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 1/2 tsp coriander (ideally 1 tsp coriander seeds but dried coriander will do)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan). Lightly rub the aubergines with olive oil, place on a baking tray and bake for 20 min.
2. To prepare the harissa paste you will need either a spice grinder, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. I used the later. You could also buy harissa paste but I find it’s not as good as the homemade blend. To make the paste to simply need to grind all the spices together until they form a smooth paste.
3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and add to the pan. Cook for 8 minutes, or until golden on each side, and then remove and put on a plate.
4. Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil to the pan and then add the paste and bay leave. Season well with salt and pepper and cook over low heat for 1-2 min.
4. Remove the aubergines from the oven and cut into large chunks. Place the chicken, aubergine chunks back in the frying pan and coat with spices.
5. Transfer everything to a large pot, add chicken stock, tomatoes and tomatoes puree. Cover pot with a lid and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. If the sauce still seems to liquid after 25 minutes you can transfer 5 tbsp of sauce into a cup, add 1 tsp of flour, stir well, and then stir back into the pot.
6. After 20 minutes place couscous into a small pot and cover with 3/4 cup of chicken/veg stock and a tsp of butter. Stir well, cover with lid and leave for 5 minutes or until couches absorbs all the liquid.
7. Serve tagine over fluffy couscous!