Moroccan Chicken Tagine With Chickpeas and Raisins or Apricots

Chicken and chickpea tagine
William Shaw/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Ratings (31)
  • Total: 90 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 Portions (4-6 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
684 Calories
31g Fat
52g Carbs
51g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4-6 Portions (4-6 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 684
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 131mg 44%
Sodium 808mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Protein 51g
Calcium 157mg 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.)

Sweet and savory tagines are quite popular in Morocco, with a great number of them including fresh or dried fruit as key ingredients. In this Moroccan recipe, chicken is stewed with tomatoes, chickpeas, and raisins in a spicy, fragrant sauce seasoned with ginger, cinnamon, saffron and Ras El Hanout.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken, skin removed and cut into pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons​ olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons​ Ras El Hanout
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) golden raisins
  • 15 oz. (425 g) cooked or canned chickpeas

Steps to Make It

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, mix the chicken, onions, garlic, oil, butter, and spices. Cover and cook over medium heat, occasionally stirring, for 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Add the tomatoes, parsley, and cilantro. Cover and continue cooking over medium heat, occasionally stirring, for another 20 minutes. A rich sauce should form. Adjust the heat if necessary to keep the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

  3. Add the raisins, chickpeas, honey (and ground cinnamon, if using) to the pot, along with enough water to cover the chickpeas.

  4. Continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce is quite thick and the chicken is very tender.

  5. Transfer to a serving platter, and if desired garnish with a sprinkling of freshly chopped cilantro.

  6. If cooking this dish in advance, note that the chickpeas and raisins will continue to absorb the liquid.

  7. When reheating, you may need to add a little water to thin the sauce and return it to its original consistency.

Tips

  • Cooking time is for the use of conventional cookware. Allow double the cooking time if preparing the dish in clay or ceramic tagine.
  • The dish may be prepared as described using a tagine placed on a diffuser over medium-low to medium heat. You will need to allow additional time for bringing the ingredients to a simmer, as well as an additional 10 to 15 minutes of cooking time at each step. 
  • Although you can eat with a fork, most tagines are traditionally eaten by hand. Crusty bread is perfect for this purpose. In Morocco, dense, chewy khobz is the bread of choice for dipping in and scooping everything up. Although not traditional, you can also serve the tagine over couscous or rice.

Recipe Variations

  • If you like, a handful of dried apricots can be substituted for the raisins. If they aren't soft enough to pinch in half, boil them until tender and drain before proceeding with the recipe.