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Chicken Tagine

15 mins Cook
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Copy of NomNom Recipes 2023 05 19T124756.115 1

Moroccan bird Tagine – bird braised in a rich spice-infused sauce studded with chickpeas and dried apricots. simply, YUM! Serve over couscous for genuine consuming enjoyment.

when you’ve made this, attempt Vegetable Tagine. Meat-free deliciousness!

Chicken Tagine

Chicken tagine

Tagine is a traditional North African stew made with meats and veggies braised in a lightly spiced sauce. it is traditionally made in a conical-lidded earthenware pot known as a tagine (from which the dish receives its name!) A tagine’s lid is formed so all of the steam trapped in the dome drips returned into the dish as condensation, retaining the dish moist as it slowly stews.

there are many kinds of tagines. Meat, fish, and all-way of veggies could make their way into this stew. Nuts and preserved results like figs, apricots, lemon, or olives are also regularly added for flavour and hobby. these days I’ve picked a Moroccan fowl tagine with dried apricots and chickpeas.

And don’t fear! You don’t need an actual tagine to make this – we’re going to use an uneventful antique pot!

What goes in Chicken Tagine

The spice blend used on this Morrocan chicken tagine is Ras el handout, a spice mixture common in North Africa used in many dishes. even though you can buy pre-made blends, the balance of flavors can be unpredictable from brand to brand. It’s a lot higher to make your own for regular final results – and it’s less expensive too!

  • Bone-in pores and skin-on chook thighs are the first-rate cut for a tagine because they’re nonetheless juicy after the 25 minutes of simmering time required to thicken the sauce and permit the flavors to develop.
  • bird legs are an excellent alternative. simply comply with the recipe as written. Boneless thighs and breasts will work however the cooking method is finely altered to feature them returned partway via the sauce simmering time else they may overcook. I’ve popped directions in the notes.
  • Ras el hanout – The spice mixture for tagine, made with not unusual spices you could have already got! you may purchase blends however I prefer to make my own to get the right balance of flavors. The first-rate element right here is that due to the fact, we’re the usage of a truthful few exclusive spices right here, it’s not the cease of the arena if you’re lacking one … or maybe. I’ve supplied a few switch-out options in the recipe notes!
  • Cinnamon stick – brought to the sauce because it simmers for a lovely perfume and flavor. I love the heady scent of cinnamon this provides to the dish!
  • Dried apricots – As mentioned earlier, some versions of tagine are made with olives, others use dried fruit, and others still may also use both. I’ve opted for fruit as it’s one of the few dishes I like that pairs fruit with meat! however I am in my view not partial to each dried fruit and olives together – it’s just a little too much, I find. let one or the other shine, I say!
  • however, the recipe consists of the olive choice too.
  • Chickpeas – Chickpeas upload some more heft to the dish. I simply use canned for comfort but I’ve popped directions within the notes for cooking dried. other beans, like cannelloni and butter beans, make truthful substitutes, as do lentils.
  • Garlic and onion – are critical for the sauce flavor base. It’s uncommon to look at saucy recipes on this internet site that don’t begin with those!!
  • Canned tomato – For the sauce base. not strictly conventional however I like how it thickens the sauce so it clings to the couscous better. without it, the sauce may be very watery in consistency. at the same time as conventional tagines are supposed to be like that, I pick a stewy sauce!
  • chook stock – to add depth to the sauce. if you just use water, you’ll find the sauce a piece bland.
  • For comfort, I commonly use store-sold but self-made hen inventory might take this to every other stage. Also, the vegetable stock would be a terrific alternative.
  • Coriander/cilantro – A clean garnish. endorsed, however not a deal-breaker if you’re one of those people who can’t stand coriander. Or if the charge of coriander has sky-rocketed to dizzying ranges currently, as it has right here in Sydney because of severe climate situations!
    Preserved lemon – An element used in Moroccan and a few Indian cooking that is regularly utilized in conventional tagines. by chance omitted from the substances picture above, so I’m giving it air time with a huge photograph!
  • Preserved lemon is lemon pickled in salt. The salt mellows the sharpness of the lemon juice and transforms the flavor remarkably, intensifying the earthiness of the lemon flavor in the zest.
  • nowadays it’s pretty smooth to discover at big grocery stores in Australia (Coles, Woolies, Harris Farms) however don’t worry if you can’t find it. Tagine is still really worth making without it!

the way to use preserved lemon: We only use the rind as that is where all of the flavors are! Take a bit out of the jar and scrape off the pith (white part of the rind) and pulp the usage of a teaspoon (it’s extraordinarily salty and also bitter). Rinse the rind very well under tap water to take away extra salt then finely mince it with a knife.

How to make Chicken Tagine

Brown the fowl pores and skin until golden, then braise inside the spice-infused sauce. easy!

  • Plump up apricots – cover the dried apricots with boiling water then leave for half-hour to plump up.
  • Brown bird – Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown the skin nicely in a pan. This takes an excellent eight to ten mins. Don’t shortcut this step! The browned pores and skin adds a stack of flavor to the bird, plus it leaves at the back golden bits caught at the pan (referred to as “fond”) which imparts treasured flavor to the sauce.
  • once the skin side is nicely browned, sear the other facet for just 1 minute then remove. The bird won’t be cooked thru at this stage. we will end up cooking it in the sauce.
  • Sauté aromatics and spices – Sauté the onion and garlic, then cook dinner off the spices in short. Sautéing spices before adding drinks is a great tip for liberating extra flavor from the spices. It without a doubt does for tagines!
  • Tagine sauce – add the chickpeas, apricot, tomato, preserved lemon, inventory, and cinnamon stick. Stir, then bring it to a simmer.
  • pinnacle with hen – simply area the hen on top, pores, and skin side up. it is going to be partially submerged but the flesh ought to primarily be under the liquid whilst the skin frequently sits above the liquid that’s exactly what you need as this way, the browning on the skin is frequently preserved all through the braising.
  • Simmer covered for 5 minutes – adjust the heat as wanted so it’s simmering gently. now not too swiftly else the bottom of the pot will scorch.
  • Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes – cast off the lid then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 70°C/158°F (which may be barely less than 20 minutes). Don’t worry approximately going above this temperature as bone-in hen thighs are a completely juicy cut so they’re very forgiving.
  • Serving! Tagine is traditionally served over couscous. I’ve popped a few extra facts beneath with a few couscous flavoring alternatives as well as some options for other carb-y companions.

What to serve with Chicken Tagine


Tagine is regularly served over couscous. undeniable couscous is quality although it’s best with a little sprinkle of dried fruit and/or nuts littered during or a spritz of fresh lemon. You’ll discover numerous flavoring alternatives in the couscous recipe.


Rice (white, brown, basmati), pearl couscous (the giant ones), quinoa, and some other small-grain starchy matters appropriate for sauce-soaking make desirable options. Even mashed potato or mashed cauliflower might be amazing. just something to slop up all that delicious sauce!

in case you’re trying the low-carb component, then Cauliflower Rice will paint properly too. honestly, I assume the slightly nutty flavor from roasting the cauliflower rice will cross truly well with chicken Tagine!


I think a mild, easy facet salad is satisfactory to pair with spice-infused dishes like fowl Tagine. a few recommendations:

  • Shredded purple Cabbage, Carrot, and Mint Salad (an ordinary at my Moroccan or center Japanese-themed food)
  • Leafy veggies tossed with my normal Salad Dressing (an easy, thing-is going opportunity) or Pomegranate Dressing (for more suitably unusual vibes)
  • Cucumber Salad with Herb Garlic vinaigrette

if you’re wanting to make greater of an effect, try this kind of:

  • Ottolenghi inexperienced Bean Salad (I am obsessed on this salad!)
  • Grilled Eggplant with Yoghurt Sauce
  • Roasted Pumpkin with Yogurt Sauce and Pine Nuts
  • excellent Roasted Carrots
  • Roasted Broccolini with Tahini Sauce (Ottolenghi recipe)

Or – find your personal best aspect salad right here.

love to understand what you watched in case you do this!

Chicken Tagine

Chicken Tagine

Moroccan bird Tagine – bird braised in a rich spice-infused sauce studded with chickpeas and dried apricots. simply, YUM! Serve over couscous for genuine consuming enjoyment.
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
15 mins
total time
25 mins



  • 1 cup dried apricot, halved (Note 1)

  • 6 x 220g / 7 oz chicken thighs , bone-in skin-on (Note 2)

  • 3/4 tsp salt (cooking/kosher salt)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion (brown/yellow), cut into 0.3 cm/ 1/8" slices

  • 2 garlic cloves , finely minced

  • 1 cinnamon stick (sub 1/2 tsp powder)

  • 400 g / 14 oz crushed tomato (1 can)

  • 400g / 14 oz canned chickpeas , drained (Note 10)

  • 1 tbsp preserved lemon skin , finely minced (Note 3)

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, low-sodium (or homemade)


  • 1 tsp cooking salt

  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin

  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger

  • 3/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp allspice powder

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder

  • 1/8 tsp clove powder


  • Couscous – plain or with fruit and/or nuts (recipe here)

  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander , roughly chopped


  • 1 cup kalamata olives (instead of apricots) (Note 7)

  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds , lightly toasted, for garnish (Note 8)


Plump apricots – Soak the dried apricots in a bowl of boiling water for 30 minutes, then drain (this plumps them up).
Season fowl – Sprinkle each side of the chicken with the salt.
Brown fowl – warmness oil the oil in a huge, deep skillet or pot (be aware of five) over high warmness. region hen inside the skillet skin aspect down and cook dinner for eight to 10 mins until deep golden. turn and prepare dinner the flesh facet for 1 minute then take it away to a plate.
Sauté aromatics & spices – Discard all but 2 tablespoons of fats inside the skillet. reduce the warmth to medium. add onions and prepare dinner for three minutes. upload garlic and prepare dinner for 1 minute. add the Ras el hanout and stir for 30 seconds.
Tagine sauce – upload the cinnamon stick, tomato, chickpeas, plumped apricots, inventory, and preserved lemon, then stir. location the chicken on top, pores, and skin aspect up.
Simmer blanketed for 5 mins – convey the liquid to a simmer then cover with a lid (word 6). cook for 5 mins, adjusting the heat as wanted so the liquid is simmering (but not too unexpectedly else the base may also trap).
Simmer uncovered for 20 mins – eliminate lid then cook for a further 20 mins or till the internal temperature of the chicken is at a minimum 70°C/158°F (notice 6).
Serve – take away from range and rest for 5 mins. Serve over couscous (word nine), sprinkled with sparkling coriander.


Dried apricots – Dried fruit like apricots and figs are now and again brought to conventional tagines. I’ve chosen apricots however you can depart them out or sub as you see healthy! See word 7 if you decide on olives in place of fruit. fine bird cut for tagine is bone-in, skin-on thighs as it yields the juiciest result. but, drumsticks may also be paintings (use 10). For boneless thighs, sear for a few minutes on every facet, remove, then make the sauce in keeping with a recipe and just add the hen returned into the sauce for the remaining 5 mins. For breast, I think the fine manner would be to absolutely cook it in the pan, make the sauce in line with the recipe, then cut the fowl into thick slices and toss it thru the sauce simply before serving. Preserved lemon – An component utilized in Moroccan and Indian cooking, this lemon is pickled in salt. The sharpness of lemon juices is mellowed and the earthiness of lemon flavor inside the zest is intensified. adds a hint of authenticity to tagines but don’t be troubled if you could discover it, tagine continues to be well worth making without it. to be had at most huge grocery shops in Australia. To prepare: We handiest use the rind as this is in which all of the flavors are! Take a piece out of the jar and scrape off the pith and pulp the usage of a teaspoon. Rinse the rind very well below tap water to remove excess salt then finely mince it with a knife. four. Spices – You won’t be left lacking in case you are missing a spice (maybe even ). Make up for it by way of dialing up the ones you have got. five. Cooking vessel – if you have an actual tagine, kudos to you! I take advantage of my 30cm / 12″ wide shallow cast iron casserole dish. Any big deep skillet or big pot will paint best. If it has a lid, even higher. If not, don’t fear – simply cowl with a baking tray or foil for the covered simmering step. internal temp – chook thighs are a nice juicy reduce so that you can cook dinner nicely over the goal internal temp – while high as 85°C/185°F – and it’s nonetheless juicy. (Can’t say the equal for breast!). Olive choice – pass the dried apricots, and use 1 cup of kalamata olives, pitted, or inexperienced olives. No need to plump them up! upload in with the tomato. My personal preference isn't always to use each dried fruit and olives (I simply don’t enjoy the mixture, it’s too many competing flavors). sense free to apply both collectively in case you decide! eight. Nuts – Slivered almonds, gently toasted until golden in a dry skillet, go truly properly in tagines. nine. Couscous – I exploit this recipe of mine. additionally top notch with rice. Chickpeas – Sub with any canned beans. Dried chickpeas – you'll need half of a cup of dried chickpeas, cooked as consistent with note 1 on this recipe. eleven. Leftovers will hold for 4 days in the refrigerator. it will freeze nicely too! Cool absolutely, then freeze in hermetic containers in portion sizes. Thaw then reheat the usage of chosen method (I shamelessly microwave. pace and convenience). nutrients are in line with serving and energy proven within the desk is better than fact as I can not reliably estimate the quantity of fats discarded after browning the bird (too variable).
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