Chicken madfunia - a comforting tagine with chestnuts, sultanas and a crisp topping of kadaif pastry - is a mainstay on our Winter menu at Honey & Co. Recreate it at home with this recipe.

8 chicken thighs with skin and bones
1 tsp + 1 tsp salt
3 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved lengthways
250g pre-cooked whole chestnuts
100g golden raisins
1 tsp white pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp date molasses or honey
240ml water
100g kadaif pastry
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
Put a large heavy-bottomed skillet on a medium heat. Place the chicken thighs skin-side down in it and season with a tsp of salt. Allow them to slowly cook and render the fat. This will take about 10-15 minutes and the skin should go all crisp and golden. Flip the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes on the other side, then remove them to a large roasting pan, reserving all the oil and sticky bits in the skillet.

Add the onions, garlic and the other tsp of salt to the skillet and cook on a medium heat until the onions and garlic start to soften and colour. In the meantime,
break the chestnuts up and scatter over the chicken, then sprinkle over the raisins.

When the onions and garlic are soft, tip in all the spices and mix to coat. Cook for 1 minute while stirring, then add the date molasses or honey and 240ml of water. Bring to the boil and pour over the chicken mix.

Cover the roasting pan and cook in the oven for 1 hour, then turn the heat off and leave the pan inside for an extra 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

When the chicken is at a temperature you can handle, break each thigh in half and remove the bone. Set the meat in an ovenproof serving dish and pour over the cooking juices, onions, raisins and chestnuts.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
Top the chicken mixture in the serving dish with the kadaif pastry and drizzle with the olive oil. Place on the upper-middle shelf of the oven for 20-30 minutes to crisp up the pastry.

Bring to the table in the baking dish, divide up and serve.

Image credit: Patricia Niven

This recipe is from Food From the Middle East by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich (Salt Yard, 2014)

Use Cassia Bark sticks as the cinnamon sticks, and pick up some kadaif pastry in store at Honey & Spice.


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