It used to be that if I was reading a recipe that called for a couple of exotic ingredients I didn’t normally keep in my pantry, I tended to pass, assuming it would be overly complicated. But lately, I’ve rediscovered that there’s a total joy in experimenting with unfamiliar ingredients, cooking with new techniques and sampling flavors that mix-up the palate. There’s no better way to shake up the weeknight routine! And the funny thing is, so many of the spices and sauces (like this one) that may seem exotic pack such a major punch of flavor that the rest of the recipe is super simple. I’d always wanted to try making a Moroccan tagine, so when I finally got the traditional vessel (of the same name) for a “Moroccan date night” shot by Kate LeSueur, it was the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl. I looked at a lot of different recipes and settled on a version that involved two new-to-me ingredients (ras el hanout and preserved lemons), plus some of my favorites (green olives, roasted carrots and sweet apricots.) I made this one with juicy chicken thighs, though you could totally leave them out for a delicious vegetarian version. It was so good – we served it over couscous, which let us soak up every last spicy drop of sauce. Keep reading for the recipe…
Moroccan Chicken & Spring Vegetable Tagine
- 2 bone-in chicken breast halves with the skin left on, each half cut crosswise to total 4 pieces
- 2 bone-in chicken thighs with the skin left on
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons ras el hanout, divided (traditional Moroccan spice blend. Look for it on the spice aisle of the grocery store, or make your own.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, halved
- 8 small potatoes, halved
- 4 baby carrots, peeled with a bit of the green tops left on if possible
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup green olives
- 3 preserved lemon wedges, rinsed and pulp removed (or you can also use the peel of 1 lemon)
- Season the chicken all over with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and 1 tablespoon of ras el hanout. In a tagine or dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on all sides (about 7 minutes), then remove from the tagine and set aside.
- Add the onions and sauté, stirring, for 3 minutes until they start to soften. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of ras el hanout, and give it a good stir. Add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot, including the browned chicken. Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the chicken is fully-cooked and very tender.
- Serve the chicken and vegetables over couscous or rice, and garnish with flat-leaf parsley.
*images by Kate LeSueur
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well this looks so yummy and healthy!
SO yummy… and it really couldn’t have come together more quickly. While the tagine cooked, I made the couscous, set the table and got some other things done around the house. After 1 and a half hours, I lifted the lid and — magic!
So excited to give this a try! We have some vegetarian friends that would be blown away with this and I can’t wait to surprise them on their next visit. Plus, any excuse to add a tagine to my collection sounds good to me 🙂
I make a similar tagine as well and I serve it with cous cous with roasted vegetables, usually zuchini & eggplant, sometimes butternut squash too…delicious and great for vegetarians.
I LOVE a good chicken tagine. They are just so good and even before for leftovers the next day because the chicken and veggies have been marinating for so long.
When I first made tangine, I also had to go out and buy preserved lemons and ras el hanout and was only able to find it at a specialty store, but those flavors make a difference.
Quinn Cooper Style
oh yum. this looks exquisite. never have had this!
ladies in navy
This looks amazing, I can almost smell the aromas!
I would like to eat that right now.
delish, delish, DEE-LISH!
This is such a great recipe, Camille. How would you recommend cooking it without a Tagine? A crockpot? Thanks!
I would use some kind of dutch oven, or large pot with a lid! It will still come together beautifully!
Pics look sooooooo good; I almost liked my computer monitor!
I am cooking this now but worried that w/o some liquid it won’t cook the vegetables
etc…the 2 Tbs olive oil certainly doesn’t seem like enough liquid……I will know in an hour 😀
I made this last night and added a can of chicken broth. I am not so sure how it would turn out without the liquid. Maybe a tagine pot is the trick which I do not own.
Love preserved lemons, which are used quite a bit in Aussie cooking– just a small amount gives such a deep flavor to a dish. Beautiful recipe, thanks for sharing!
I usually make chickpea tagine from a Spanish, Middle Eastern and African cookbook I have, it’s one of my favourite dishes, but I can’t wait to try your version too.
That blue plate is beautiful! Where’s it from?
Definitely making this soon!
Can I use boneless chicken breast and reduce the cooking time? How long would you suggest?