Chicken Tagine with Prunes

Serves 6 people

2 chickens, cut up into 6 pieces each
340 g (12 oz) prunes, stoned
115 g (4 oz) whole, blanched almonds
2 large white onions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

The day before, prepare the chicken marinade. Wash the chicken in salted water and drain. Crash 4 cloves of garlic and make into a paste with 2 tablespoons of salt. Rub into the chicken and then rinse under running water until the chicken no longer smells of garlic. Drain and set aside. Rub the pieces with salt, cumin, and pepper and let stand for 1 hour.

Cover the prunes with cold water, add the cinnamon and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or longer – until the prunes are tender.

Place the chicken pieces in a 5-quart deep casserole over medium heat and add the grated onion, turmeric, ginger, salt, pepper and almonds. When the almonds are brown, remove with a perforated spoon and drain on kitchen paper. When the chicken is browned, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add the prunes and some of the prune water to the casserole and continue cooking until the chickens and prunes are very tender.

Sprinkle with the almonds and serve at once.