Saturday 19 December 2009

Like Webster's Dictionary...

...we're Morocco bound. So sang Bob Hope and Bing Crosby

Unlike Liz and Jon, who went to Marrakesh last year, I haven't actually been to Morocco [although I have sent some baby clothes there via my good friend Dave Ford -  see here]

duck terrine but I do like some of their food. I came across a recipe for a Tagine in a BBC Good Food book, using duck and cranberries, by the chef Alastair Hendy. It said it reheats well - and serves four. So I decided to make one for today/tomorrow.


I substituted chicken for the duck - and replaced half the parsnips with carrots [Bob does not like parsnips much, altho I love them]


  • 2 tbsp unsalted whole cashews , lightly toasted
  • 300g small parsnips , peeled and halved lengthways
  • 1 tsp each ground ginger and cumin
  • 3 large onions , thickly sliced
  • 280g couscous
  • 100g fresh or frozen whole cranberries
  • 2 tbsp cranberry jelly
  • 1 tsp plus 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1.2l hot chicken stock
  • 2 sticks cinnamon or cassia bark
  • 4 duck legs [I used chicken]
  • 4 strips orange zest
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/ gas 5/fan 170C. Put the duck legs in a shallow roasting tin and rub with salt, pepper, ground cinnamon and the oil. Roast for 25 minutes. Heat the cranberry jelly until thick and syrupy, then brush all over the duck and return to the oven for 20 minutes, until burnished and mahogany brown.
  2. Put the onions and parsnips on the bottom of a heavy based shallow casserole and sit the duck on top. Sprinkle the spices and 1 tsp sugar over the duck and tuck the orange zest and cinnamon sticks around. Pour over 600ml of the stock, so the duck sits in a shallow puddle. Cover and bring to a bubble on the hob, place in the oven and leave to murmur away** for 1 hour. Add the cashews, cranberries and 1 tbsp sugar and cook for a further 30 minutes, uncovered, to let the skin crisp up.
  3. Meanwhile, to prepare the couscous, tip into a heatproof bowl. Pour over the remaining 600ml of stock. Leave for a minute or two, then fork it through. Leave for 4 minutes, then fluff through with a fork, with extra seasoning.
  4. To serve, pile the couscous on to a plate and top with a duck leg, some vegetables, nuts and fruits, then spoon over the rich juices from the pan and scatter with mint. Or, if you make in advance, simply reheat for 30 minutes in a moderate oven.

Mine looked like this...


The cranberries were wonderfully juicy - but we concluded that chicken portions being much smaller than duck, even though I'd upped the quantity of carrots/parsnips to 400g, it didn't yield terribly generous portions. I shall probably cook another vegetable tomorrow to bulk it out for Sunday lunch. But the flavours were lovely. I didn't have any mint, so threw some parsley over it instead. Not quite as authentic, but never mind.

**Bob suggested that possibly it was murmuring too loudly and I should have turned it down a little!

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