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Tagine dishes get their name from the pottery dish with a cone-shaped lid in which they are slowed cooked to perfection. We tried a number of Tagine dishes while in Marrakech, Morocco. They run from savory to sweet with the addition of dried fruit and honey.
This version, Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Prunes and Preserved Lemons, is a blend between the two. The addition of the fruit along with a hint of cinnamon and mint adds a little complexity to the standard Chicken Tagine Recipe.
The harissa paste (a spicy roasted chili paste with spices such as garlic, caraway and coriander seeds) adds another note that elevates the dish to a new level. You can find harissa in specialty stores or the ethnic aisle of your grocery store. The dish can also be made with hunks of beef or lamb, substituting the stock to match the protein of your choice.
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If you don’t have a tagine, you can also use a heavy skillet or dutch oven. Either way, this classic North African dish is a wonderful alternative to the standard slow cooker chicken. Enjoy as the wonderful exotic aromas of Marrakech fill your kitchen.
For a truly traditional Moroccan experience, try it with Khobz, the bread which is served with tagine dishes and most Moroccan meals. You can also serve Chicken Tagine with another crusty bread, couscous, quinoa, rice or alternatively these delicious Harissa Potatoes.
Here are some additional recipes and stories from Marrakech, Morocco that you might enjoy:
- For 2 - 4 Servings
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs and or legs
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, very finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, very finely diced
- 1 teaspoon (1.7 g) ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon (1.7 g) ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground (3 g) turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon (1.3 g) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 (1 g) teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon (14 g) harissa, Moroccan chili sauce
- 2 - 3 cups (235 - 710 ml) chicken stock
- 10 pitted dried apricots, cut in half
- 6 pitted prunes, cut in quarters
- 1/2 preserved lemon
- 1 teaspoon (4.73 g) butter or ghee
- 2 tablespoons (about 4 sprigs) fresh cilantro - chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (4 sprigs) - chopped
- 1 tablespoon (about 2 sprigs) fresh mint - chopped
- Place washed and dried chicken into a bowl and combine with harissa (or other spicy chili sauce) along with the dry spices. Thoroughly coat the chicken and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 1 - 2 hours.
- Add the olive oil to the pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, pulp of the preserved lemon, and saute until the onion softens.
- Add the chicken to the pan and brown on both sides.
- Add the prunes and apricots and simmer another 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth until the chicken is 3/4 covered by liquid. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the butter or ghee, cilantro, mint and parsley (reserving 1/2 of the fresh herbs for garnishing). Turn the chicken occasionally, and add a little water if the liquid reduces below covering 1/2 of the chicken.
- Continue to cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat, add the lemon peel. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
- Garnish with the remaining fresh herbs.
- Serve with crusty bread or over rice or couscous.
Amount Per Serving Calories 331