Chicken, Chestnut and Honey Tagine with spiced mash and cinnamon onions

"I love middle eastern flavours and think these dishes work really well together as a dinner party menu.  The starter is light yet flavoursome and the added bonus of the baba ganoush makes it really special.  The main course is a hearty dish for winter with complex and heady flavours, set off perfectly with the spiced mash and onions.  Finally, the dessert is a sweet lover's delight with the sharpness of the ginger complemented by the rich and decadent flavours of the pomegranate and benedictine syrup.  A perfect meal to transport guests to a Byzantine heaven!"



  • 25g butter

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 large onion sliced

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • Large pinch of saffron threads

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs

  • 1 bag vacuum packed cooked chestnuts

  • 1 tablespoon clear honey
    Salt and black pepper


  • 300g peeled potatoes

  • 300g peeled and chopped parsnips

  • 3 tablespoons double cream

  • 60g butter

  • Quarter teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 25ml milk

  • 1 onion finely sliced

  • 15g butter

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • Quarter teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Half teaspoon harissa paste

  • Squeeze of lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander



1. Heat the butter and oil in a large pan.  Add onions, cover and soften slowly over a medium heat. 

2. Once coloured, stir in ginger, saffron and cinnamon. 
Add chicken thighs, season and brown chicken lightly all over.


3. Add 200ml water and cook, covered for 20 mins turning chicken pieces mid-way through cooking.

4. Remove chicken and let onions reduce to thick brown sauce.

5. Stir in honey and chestnuts and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. 


6. Add chicken back to pan for 5 mins to absorb the flavours.




1. Boil potatoes and parsnips separately until soft and drain. 
Puree parsnips and cream in food processor.

2. Mash the potatoes.


3. Melt butter in a saucepan and add spices.  Cook for one minute.

4. Add parsnips potatoes and milk and beat everything together (this can be reheated gently to serve).

5. Fry the onion in the butter and oil until golden and crisp.  Add the cinnamon, harissa, lemon, coriander and season.


6. Put the mash in a mound on the plate, top with the onions and serve with the tagine.