An easy version of a beautifully fragrant and spicy chicken stew with eggplant/aubergine, cinnamon, ginger and sticky dried plumes in the style of a traditional Moroccan 'tagine'. Cook slowly on the stovetop or in your slow cooker or pressure cooker for a delicious and healthy meal that might even become a family favourite!
Heat up the olive oil gently in a heavy flat-bottomed pan (or slow cooker/pressure cooker - see notes section below for more info). Then layer up the onions, garlic, eggplant/aubergine, spices, prunes and herbs (with the onions on the bottom). Lay the chicken over the top, then sprinkle over the salt and pepper.
Sprinkle over the lemon zest and squeeze over the juice. Pour over the chicken stock/broth. Put the lid on the pan and let the tagine simmer gently for 45 minutes to an hour. Stir the ingredients about half way through cooking.
Shortly before the end of the cooking time, dry roast the almonds in a frying pan until lightly browned. Put aside.
Push the chicken thighs aside and squish the prunes a little with a potato masher. Roughly shred the chicken in the pot with two forks (I like to leave some fairly large pieces).
Serve the tagine with hot couscous and lemon wedges from the leftover lemon half. Sprinkle over the reserved fresh herbs plus some toasted flaked almonds.
When your chicken stew is cooked: Either remove the chicken thighs briefly or push them aside. Then squish the prunes a little with a potato masher! This thickens the stew slightly and uses the prunes essentially as a sweetener. It's delicious!Then shred the chicken lightly with two forks. You can leave the thighs whole if you like but this is how I like to serve the stew.Slow cooker and pressure cooker instructions: To make this Moroccan chicken in a slow cooker, layer up the ingredients as in the stovetop version. Reduce the chicken stock to just 1/2 cup. Then cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. When it's done, shred the chicken and squish the prunes as in the stovetop recipe.To use your pressure cooker/Instant Pot: Reduce the stock/broth to just 1/2 a cup. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Let the pressure cooker release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release the pressure.If you like: Add a handful of green olives and/or a pinch of saffron to the layers before cooking.