This wholesome Middle Eastern dish combines spicy marinated chicken with sweet pumpkin and raisins, served on a bed of almond pilaf.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (79 votes)


  • 1 kg skinless chicken breast fillets, cut in half lengthways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) chicken stock
  • 600 g butternut pumpkin, cut into crescents
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 lemon, thickly sliced
  • ½ cup raisins
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Almond pilaf

  • 20 g ghee or butter
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 300 g (1½ cups) basmati rice
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • ⅓ cup coriander leaves
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time overnight

To make the chermoula, combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl.

Add the chicken to the chermoula and toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.

In a large flameproof tagine or saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook half the chicken for 2–3 minutes each side or until golden. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Add tomato paste, stock, pumpkin, honey and cinnamon to tagine, stir to combine and bring to a simmer.

Add chicken and top with lemon slices and raisins. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, to make the pilaf, in a saucepan, melt ghee or butter over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent.

Add the rice and stir to coat in onion mixture. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender and liquid absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in the coriander and sprinkle almonds on top.

Spoon the pilaf onto serving plates, top with the chicken and serve immediately.


Photography by Brett Stevens. Styling by Ainsley Johnstone. Art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.