4 small red onions
1 bulb of fennel
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tesapoon fennel seeds
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
1 pinch of saffron
4 free-range chicken thighs
4 free-range drumsticks
1 x 400 g tin of plum tomatoes
2 fresh bay leaves
2 preserved lemons
2 fresh tomatoes
1 small handful of black olives (stone in)
300 g couscous
a few sprigs of fresh coriander
1. Peel and finely slice the onions, then trim and finely slice the fennel.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan, add the onions and fennel, along with the chilli flakes, fennel seeds and cinnamon and cook slowly for 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft and sticky.
3. Meanwhile, add the saffron to a small cup, top up with a little hot water and set aside – this will draw the flavour out of the strands and allow it to mix evenly in the pan when you add it.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan on a high heat, add the chicken thighs and drumsticks and brown on all sides, adding them to the veg pan when golden.
5. Pour in the saffron-infused water, followed by the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Fill the empty tin with water, pour into the pan and mix together.
6. Add the bay, finely slice and add the preserved lemons, roughly chop and add the fresh tomatoes and destone and tear in the olives.
7. Season with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then leave to bubble away for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone and the sauce has thickened and reduced.
8. Put the couscous into a bowl and just cover with boiling salted water, then pop a plate on top and leave to fluff up.
9. Serve the chicken and couscous, scattered with picked coriander.
Southern Italian style chicken