First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We write for you

It’s a public service and we refuse to erect a paywall and force you to pay for truth. Instead, we ask (nicely and often) that those of you who can afford to, become a Maverick Insider and help with whatever you can. In order for truth not to become a thing of the past, we need to keep going.

Currently, 18,000 (or less than 0.3%) of our brave and generous readers are members; which says a lot about their characters and commitment to our country. These people are paying for a free service in order to keep it free for everyone.

They are the true South AfriCANs.(Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.)

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

What’s cooking today: Chicken and fresh fig tagine



What’s cooking today: Chicken and fresh fig tagine

Moroccan-style chicken thighs with fresh figs. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Sweetly spicy, this week-night supper needs little preparation and cooks in one pot.


2 Tbsp olive oil

8 chicken thighs, skin removed

1 large onion (or 2 medium), cut into quarters or sixths

2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

4 cm piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly

14 small figs

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground fennel seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Coriander leaves garnish marries superbly


Peel off the skin from the chicken thighs and discard.

Mix the ground cumin, fennel, coriander and cinnamon and sprinkle liberally over both sides of the thighs. 

Oil the bottom of a tagine and place the chicken thighs all around the edges and one in the centre.

Cut the onion into wedges and push them between the thighs.

Sprinkle the sliced ginger and garlic all over.

Trim the stems off the figs and tuck them in between the thighs and onions, with the cut side facing up. I used late-season red (Parisian/Evita) figs, which are subtly sweet and take the Moroccan spicing perfectly.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and pour the chicken stock over.

Put the lid on the tagine and bake in a preheated 180℃ oven for 50 minutes to an hour. If there is too much liquid at the end, spoon it into a saucepan, reduce it down and serve it on the plate. Serve with couscous. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, the flavour of which gives a lovely finish to the impact of the dish. DM/TGIFood

Our Thank God It’s Food newsletter is sent to subscribers every Friday at 6pm, and published on the TGIFood platform on Daily Maverick. It’s all about great reads on the themes of food and life. Subscribe here.

Send your recipes to [email protected] with a hi-resolution horizontal (landscape) photo.

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected]


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

No Comments, yet

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted