Nuts can be used to thicken sauces or cooking juices as in the following recipe
- 6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
- 1 lemon, finely grated zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 dried figs
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- olive oil, for frying
- 2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup pitted prunes
- 3/4 cup ground almonds
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- flaked sea salt
- lemon wedges, to serve
- 1/2 cup roasted whole almonds
- 2 tbsp coriander sprigs, to garnish
- Trim fat from chicken pieces, then put chicken in a large bowl. Add lemon zest and juice and salt. Rub into chicken and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Trim stalks off dried figs, cut in half and soak in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes then drain.
- In a small bowl mix dried mint, cumin, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and chilli powder and rub into chicken.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Brown chicken in batches, being vigilant as the spices can burn quickly. Transfer chicken pieces to a casserole as they are done, and add more oil if needed (if spices catch, scrape out and discard).
- When chicken is browned, lower heat under the pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and the onions. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 7-10 minutes until onions are soft. Stir in garlic, then transfer to casserole with chicken, scraping in all the juices. Add stock to casserole, place on the heat and bring to a gentle boil. Cover casserole with a lid and cook gently for 25 minutes.
- Add the drained figs, prunes and ground almonds. Continue cooking for a further 30 minutes, until chicken is very tender.
- Fry pine nuts in a small pan in a lick of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- When chicken is ready, squeeze over a little lemon juice, top with roasted almonds and pine nuts, and garnish with coriander.