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Guest recipes with Tonia Buxton


Hearty warming dinner


Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Olives

1 preserved lemon

50ml olive oil

1 tsp melted butter

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2.5cm piece of ginger, grated

1 tbsp ground coriander

pinch of saffron strands

1 cinnamon stick

500g whole chicken, cut into large chunks

1 red onion, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

10 green olives

2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

1 tbsp marjoram, finely chopped

couscous or crusty bread to serve


Cut the preserved lemon in half and separate the flesh from the peel. Set the peel aside and finely chop the flesh.

Place the chopped lemon flesh in a casserole dish. Add the olive oil, melted butter, garlic, ginger, ground coriander, saffron, cinnamon stick and 250ml cold water and mix well.

Add the chicken pieces to the casserole, having pierced them with a sharp knife so they absorb the spices. Mix all the ingredients together until the chicken pieces are coated in the marinade. Add the chopped onion and mix well.

Cover the casserole with a lid and sear the chicken pieces over a low heat for 15 minutes. Keep the lid on to keep the moisture in. Turn each piece of chicken over and add a little water, if necessary.

After 10 minutes, add 250ml cold water. Increase the heat to medium, cover and bring to the boil. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes, checking the chicken occasionally and adding water if necessary. There should always be enough sauce at the bottom of the tagine so the meat doesn’t burn.

Season, add the lemon peel and olives to the tagine and continue cooking, uncovered, for a few minutes, until the sauce slightly thickens.

Sprinkle with chopped herbs and black pepper, and serve hot with couscous or crusty bread.


Baked White Cabbage with Orange, Cardamom and Honey

8 green cardamom pods

1 large white cabbage

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

125ml orange juice

35ml white wine

100ml chicken or vegetable stock

1 tbsp honey

a generous pinch of chilli flakes

½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 190C.

Crush the cardamom pods until they break open. Tip the seeds inside into a mortar and pestle and grind them as finely as you can. Slice the cabbage into wedges.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan. Fry the cabbage wedges over a high heat on both sides so they get a good golden brown colour. You may have to do this in batches. Once all the wedges are browned, put them all back into the pan.

Add all the remaining ingredients with some seasoning and cook in the oven for about 30–40 minutes, turning the pieces of cabbage over occasionally, until tender and you have a little juice left in the base of the pan. Serve.


Tonia Buxton has written four cookbooks and is a well-known TV celebrity and chef. For more information visit

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