Moroccan Chicken and Apricot Tagine

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with potatoes and carrots
Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images
  • Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
606 Calories
36g Fat
34g Carbs
38g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 606
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Sodium 201mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Protein 38g
Calcium 155mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Dried or fresh fruits are often key additions to sweet and savory Moroccan tagines such as this one. Here, chicken is stewed until tender with onions, saffron, ginger, ​and pepper. The dish is then topped with apricots and a honey-cinnamon syrup. Fried almonds or sesame seeds are traditional, but optional, garnishes. 

The seasoning reflects a preference for fruit tagines that are zesty and a bit peppery. Reduce the white and black peppers (and Ras el Hanout, if using) if you want seasoning that is on the mild side. 

Cooking time is for traditional clay or ceramic tagine preparation. If you prepare this dish with conventional cookware, you can reduce this time by up to an hour. 


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into four or eight pieces
  • 2 medium onions, grated 
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ras el Hanout (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 or 2 small 3-inch pieces of cinnamon stick
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • A small handful of cilantro sprigs tied into a bouquet
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • Optional: Handful fried almonds
  • Optional: 1 to 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. If desired, remove the skin from the chicken.

  3. Combine the spices in a large bowl, add the chicken, and toss to evenly coat the chicken pieces with the spices.

  4. Over medium-low heat, melt the butter in the base of a large tagine. (Use of a diffuser is necessary with electric or ceramic stovetops, and recommended for other types as well.) Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, and cinnamon stick

  5. Add the seasoned chicken, meat-side down, in a single layer on top of the onions. Place the cilantro bouquet on top.

  6. Add the broth to the tagine.

  7. Swirl the water in the bowl to cleanse it of the spices, and then add the water to the tagine as well. Cover and leave the liquids to reach a simmer over medium-low heat.

  8. Once simmering, cook the chicken, undisturbed, for 1 hour. Remove and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquids. 

  9. Carefully turn the chicken pieces over so that they are meat-side-up. Cover and continue simmering for another 30 minutes to one hour, until the chicken is done and the liquids are thick and reduced. If you feel the liquids are excessive, it is quicker to reduce them in a small pot or skillet and then return them to the tagine.

  10. While the chicken is cooking, put the apricots in a small pot and cover with water. Simmer the apricots over medium heat, partially covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender enough to pinch in half with your fingers.

  11. Drain the apricots and add the sugar (or honey), cinnamon, and the 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Simmer the apricots gently for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are sitting in a thick syrup.

  12. Discard the cilantro bouquet and cinnamon stick. Arrange the chicken on a large serving platter (or simply leave in the base of the tagine). Spoon the apricots and syrup on and around the chicken. If desired, garnish with fried almonds or sesame seeds.