This chicken tagine is my version of a much-loved North-African dish of chicken, spices, dried fruit and nuts, slow-cooked together to come together into an aromatic and flavorful stew.
With my deep love for spices, it naturally follows that Moroccan food would rank high up among some of my favorite cuisines. Tagines are perhaps some of the more popularly known dishes from this region. And for good reason! This chicken tagine hits all the right notes with me - A slow-cooked stew that comes together with spices, dried fruits and nuts - what's not to love?
If your heart skips a beat for the flavors of North African cuisine, then a tagine is the dish for you! Tagines are traditionally prepared in a terracotta conical pot that traps the heat in and provides a moist environment by trapping the steam that cooks the food evenly inside. I don't have the good fortune of possessing one (yet!), so I just make mine in my electric pressure cooker (in my InstantPot in the 'Saute' mode). A heavy-bottom pot with a lid will do just fine.
I love the complex flavors of spices and the sweetness that come from the addition of apricots, cinnamon and honey. The nuts add a textural element, and evens out the dish nicely. This tagine is one that I've made on a few occasions before, and each time I've modified it slightly, adding pumpkin once and dates instead of apricots, another time.
On my long list of dishes to try out, a tagine with preserved lemon and olives is right up there. What North African dishes do you love and would recommend cooking at home? I'd love to hear from you.
Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds
- 600 grams chicken thighs and legs skinned
- 1 + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion onions finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon corriander
- 400 grams chopped tomatoes I used tinned tomatoes
- A few strands of saffron
- 300 ml chicken stock I used stock cubes
- 100 grams chopped apricots use organic apricots, which don't contain sulphur
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley to garnish
- In a wide skillet, heat the oil on medium heat and add the chicken. Cooking on low to medium heat, brown the chicken on both sides, for a total of around 10 minutes.
- Once the chicken is browned, keep aside.
- In a heavy-bottom pot or large saucepan, add a tablespoon olive oil and on medium heat, fry the onions untill translucent Add the ginger, garlic, and the spices and saute for a minute.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, saffron, stock, apricots and honey and let this come to a simmer.
- To the pot, add the browned chicken and give it a mix.
- Cover the pot and let it cook for 1 hour on low to medium heat, stirring every 15 minutes.
- After an hour, the sauce would have reduced and the chicken would have become tender and moist.
- Add the almonds to the sauce and turn off the heat. Serve the tagine with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
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