· 2 red onions
· 3 cloves garlic
· 6 chicken thigh fillets
· 50g butter
· 60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
· 8 fresh dates
· 1 tsp ground cumin
· 1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus 1 pinch extra
· 1 pinch saffron threads (optional)
· 400g can chopped tomatoes
· 250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
· 1 cinnamon quill
· 400g (2 cups) instant couscous
· 20g (1/4 cup) flaked almonds
· 1 tbs lemon juice
· 1/4 bunch coriander
Peel onions and garlic, then thinly slice. Cut chicken thighs into thirds. Heat butter and 1 tbs oil in a heavy-based casserole over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer to a plate. Return casserole to medium heat. Add onions, garlic and 1 tsp salt, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened.
Meanwhile, cut dates in half, remove seeds, then thinly slice. Add cumin, ground cinnamon and saffron, if using, to onion mixture and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Return chicken to casserole with tomatoes, stock, cinnamon quill and half the dates. Bring to a simmer, then cook, partially covered with a lid, for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, fill a kettle and bring to the boil. Place couscous and 1 tbs oil in a bowl. Pour over 400ml boiling water, stir to combine, then cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Heat remaining 1 tbs oil in a pan over medium heat. Add remaining dates and almonds, and cook, tossing, for 3 minutes or until almonds are toasted. Stir in the lemon juice and extra ground cinnamon.
Fluff couscous with a fork, then divide among plates with chicken. Tear leaves from coriander, then scatter over chicken with almond mixture to serve.
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