Tagine of Cornish Hens with Almonds

 RECIPE header J   recipe card_eclub

Tagine is reserved for formal occasions in Morocco and is usually made with pigeon, known as squab in the United States. Author/chef Kitty Morse substitutes Cornish game hens, which in no way diminishes the subtle flavor of this unusual dish, traditionally served with chunks of crusty bread to mop up the almond-studded sauce.



Tagine de Pigeon aux Amandes
Tagine of Cornish Hens with Almonds

Serves 4


¼ c. olive oil
⅛ t. Spanish saffron, crushed
1 t. turmeric
2 large Cornish hens, rinsed and patted dry
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
½ c. chopped parsley
1 c. whole blanched almonds
Salt to taste
1 t. freshly ground pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, mix olive oil with saffron and turmeric. Coat the hens with this mixture.

In a tagine dish or Dutch oven, brown hens on all sides over medium heat. Add onions, parsley, almonds, salt and pepper. Nestle hens, breast side up, in the onion mixture. Cover and bake until tender, 50 to 55 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

Using a carving knife, slice hens in half, lengthwise. Set halves inside the tagine or on a serving platter. Spoon sauce over hens. Garnish with almonds and chopped parsley and serve.

Kitty Morse is the author of nine cookbooks, five of them on the cuisine of Morocco and North Africa. This recipe is excerpted from her latest book, Mint Tea and Minarets: A Banquet of Moroccan Memories (La Caravane Publishing, 2012). Available from mintteaandminarets.com or amazon.com.

Categories: Food & Drink