Moroccan Tagine is a culinary masterpiece that originates from North Africa, known for its slow-cooked, aromatic stews that showcase a rich tapestry of flavors. Named after the earthenware pot in which it’s traditionally cooked, a tagine typically features a combination of tender meat, poultry, or fish, slow-simmered with an array of vibrant vegetables, dried fruits, and an aromatic blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and saffron. The slow-cooking method allows the ingredients to meld, resulting in a succulent and fragrant dish. Served with couscous or bread, Moroccan Tagine embodies the artistry of North African cuisine, offering a journey through a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and aromatic notes in every bite.
Try this Dutch oven twist on the traditional Moroccan tagine dish of chicken pieces braised with spices, garlic, onion, olives, and preserved lemons.
Moroccan Tagine with Chicken
- Dutch oven
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 lemon
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 4 lbs skin-on chicken thighs trimmed of excess skin and fat
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion halved and cut into ¼-in-thick slices
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1-3/4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 medium carrots peeled and cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick coins
- 1/2 cup Greek cracked green olives pitted and halved
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Combine the spices in a small bowl and set aside. Zest the lemon. Combine 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest with 1 minced garlic clove; set aside.
- Season both sides of chicken pieces with 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or pan over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke. Brown the chicken pieces skin side down in single layer until deep golden, about 5 minutes; using tongs, flip the chicken pieces over and brown the other side, about 4 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a large plate; when cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and discard. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have browned at the edges but still retain their shape, 5 to 7 minutes (add a few tablespoons of water now and then if the pan gets too dark). Add the remaining minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spices and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, honey, remaining lemon zest, and ¼ teaspoon salt, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Add the chicken (with any accumulated juices) back in, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the carrots, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes more.
- Stir in the olives, reserved lemon zest-garlic mixture, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice; taste the sauce and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
- Serve with couscous.