• Yield: Serves 4

The flavors of a tagine without the fuss. This dish is quite sweet, because of the prunes, so it does need the preserved lemon to cut through that. If you don’t like prunes (I know they divide people), use dried apricots or pitted dates instead.

LISTEN: Diana Henry on Oven Cooking


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons harissa

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1lb small waxy potatoes, scrubbed

  • 2 onions, sliced

  • 3/4 lb cauliflower florets

  • about 12 moist prunes (more is fine)

  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock

  • 2 preserved lemons, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons brine from the jar

  • 8 good-sized skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, excess skin neatly trimmed

  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves

  • Greek yogurt, to serve

book cover with cast iron pan of chicken thighs, cauliflower and potatoes From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a bowl, mix together the harissa, spices, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper, and olive oil.

Cut the potatoes—there’s no need to peel them—into very thin (1/16 in) slices and put them into a shallow 12in casserole with the onions. Add the cauliflower and prunes. Take one-third of the harissa mixture and toss it with the vegetables. Add the chicken stock and place over medium heat until the mixture is simmering.

Remove the flesh from the preserved lemons—keep the rind for scattering on top—chop it, then add it to the rest of the harissa mixture, along with the brine from the jar. Mix the chicken thighs with this mixture, rubbing it all over. Set the chicken on top of the simmering vegetables, skin side up. Season the chicken and put the dish into the oven.

Cook for 45 minutes, taking the dish out and scooping the cooking juices up over the chicken a couple of times. You should end up with dark, golden chicken and tender vegetables.

Cut the preserved lemon rind into shreds and throw it over the chicken along with the cilantro. A bowl of Greek yogurt—you can grate some garlic into it or leave it as it is—is also excellent.

Recipe excerpted from From the Oven to the Tablev by Diana Henry. Copyright 2019 Mitchell Beazley.

Diana Henry is the Telegraph's food writer. She is the author of six books, including Plenty, which was selected as one of the top cookbooks of the year by The Washington Post.