Moroccan Chicken Tagine with apricots, warm spices and a good mix of vegetables, my take on the classic North-African stew that is ready in only 30 minutes. It has a great range of flavours and textures, and it’s superbly hearty and filling. Serve it with couscous for the best exotic experience.
I’ve always been open to the idea of trying out different dishes from around the world. Different spices bring different flavours, and there is no way I could ever choose one single cuisine I like best. If the food is yummy, that’s all I care about. And while I’m already in love with the Asian food, I haven’t had the chance to explore more of the African delicacies.
The Moroccan food is a symphony of flavours and textures, and this chicken tagine is the perfect example of how beautifully different ingredients are mixed together to create unique dishes.
There are two basic ingredients that make all the difference in this recipe: cinnamon and cumin. Sweetness, and heat are brought together in one magnificent recipe.
What is a tagine?
Tagine is a traditional Moroccan dish named after the pot it’s cooked in. It’s a spiced meat and veggie stew, incredibly flavourful and colouful too. Chicken is a popular choice, but you can use lamb, beef, or any other meat you like. I prefer chicken, since it’s delicious, and also super easy to cook.
And there are a whole range of textures too: you have tender chicken breast, mushrooms, peppers, aubergine, dried apricots, all cooked together to create a rich stew that is filling, and super healthy. I just love how easy to make this dish is, you have a super delicious dinner on your table in just 30 minutes.
How to make Moroccan chicken tagine
The prep is minimal, and you don’t need to worry much about it. While the recipe is not authentic, it surely is super delicious. You can add more spices if you wish, but I prefer keeping it simple. Less is more, that’s for sure.
- peel and chop the onion and garlic, and gently fry in a tablespoon of oil
- add the chicken pieces and sear, then add the cinnamon sticks, cumin, ground coriander and cayenne pepper
- sprinkle over the flour and give it a good stir
- add the aubergine, pepper, mushrooms, pour over the chicken stock, and leave to cook until the veggies are tender
- throw in the dried apricots, tomato puree, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh coriander or parsley
And that’s your tagine done! If you like a not of more of a chilli kick, feel free to add a red chilli pepper in too, or any dried chilli powder.
What to serve with chicken tagine
Couscous is hugely popular in Morocco, and it can be as plain or flavourful as you wish. And it’s so easy to cook it. I usually go for plain couscous if I serve it with a nice and flavourful dish like this Moroccan chicken tagine.
And all it takes is adding boiling water to it, cover the pan with a lid, and leave the couscous absorb the water until it’s fluffy. But you can always go for other sides too, rice, bulgur wheat, pear barley, are just a few of other great choices. If you want to make the dish even more filling, you can add a handful of chickpeas to it, and you can just enjoy it by itself without any sides.
What other dried fruit can be added to the tagine
Dried apricots are my favourite, their sweetness contrasts beautifully with the earthy spices. But other popular choice are raisins, dates or prunes.
A FREEZER-FRIENDLY DISH
This chicken stew can safely be frozen. I would not freeze it with couscous though, it’s too easy and quickly to make some fresh couscous just before having your meal.
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Moroccan Chicken Tagine with apricots, warm spices and vegetables, my take on the classic North-African stew that is ready in only 30 minutes. It has a great range of flavours and textures, and it's superbly hearty and filling. Serve it with couscous for the best exotic experience. This is such an aromatic and flavourful stew that is quick and easy, and suitable for the whole family. The spices used are mild, but really give a good kick to the dish.
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 aubergine (eggplant)
- 1 pepper (any colour)
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp oil
- fresh parsley or coriander (cilantro) to garnish
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
Heat up the oil in a pan, then add the chopped onion and garlic, and fry gently until the onion softens.
Cut the chicken breasts into pieces, and add them to the pan.
Cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken is seared, then add the cinnamon sticks, cumin, ground coriander and cayenne pepper.
Sprinkle the flour over, stir well, and leave to cook for one minute.
Chop the aubergine, peppers and mushrooms, add them to the pan together with the chicken stock.
Leave to cook for 15-20 minutes until the veggies are tender.
Season with salt, add the tomato puree and dried apricots, and garnish with parsley.
Turn off the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Serve with couscous or any other side of your choice.