Moroccan Chicken Tagine With Dates and Honey Recipe

A plate of Moroccan chicken with dates and honey
Christine Benlafquih
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
775 Calories
39g Fat
62g Carbs
49g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 775
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 49%
Saturated Fat 14g 71%
Cholesterol 183mg 61%
Sodium 862mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 23%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 51g
Protein 49g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 87mg 7%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 895mg 19%
*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.)

This sweet and savory chicken tagine recipe is easy to prepare in either a heavy-bottomed pot or traditional tagine. Add the optional white pepper and Ras el Hanout if you'd like extra spicy seasoning to contrast with the syrupy sauce.

As with other Moroccan fruit tagines, toasted sesame seeds or fried almonds can be added as a garnish. Serve the dish with Moroccan bread for scooping everything up.

Double the cooking time if using a clay or ceramic tagine. You should also consider alternative versions of the recipe, such as lamb or beef tagine with dates.


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces

  • 2 medium onions, grated

  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, or 1/4 teaspoon Moroccan yellow food colorant

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, optional

  • 1/4 teaspoon Ras el hanout, optional

  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 4 cilantro sprigs, tied into a bouquet

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates, such as Medjool

  • 3 tablespoons honey, or to taste

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted, optional

  • 1 handful almonds, fried, optional

Steps to Make It

Conventional Pot Method

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, mix the chicken with the onions, garlic, spices, oil, and butter.

  2. Cover and cook over medium-low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, until rich sauce forms in the bottom of the pot. Stir frequently to turn and brown the chicken on all sides.

  3. Add the broth and the cilantro.

  4. Increase the heat briefly to bring the liquids to a simmer, then cover and cook over medium-low heat, occasionally stirring, for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is very tender and the liquids are reduced. ​(Note: About halfway through cooking, remove and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquids.)

  5. Place the dates, cinnamon, and honey in a small pot with the reserved liquids.

  6. Stir gently to combine, then simmer over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes until the dates are tender and the sauce is syrupy.

  7. To serve, transfer the chicken and its sauce to a serving dish. (Discard the cinnamon stick and cilantro.) Spoon the dates and syrup over the chicken, garnishing if desired with sesame seeds or fried almonds.

Clay or Ceramic Tagine Method

  1. Slice one of the onions instead of grating it, and layer the onion rings on the bottom of the tagine.

  2. Mix the chicken with the grated onion, garlic, oil, butter, and spices, and place the chicken, meat side down, on the onion rings.

  3. Swirl the broth in the bowl to cleanse it of the seasoning, and pour the liquid into the tagine. Place the cilantro bouquet on top of the chicken.

  4. Cover and place the tagine on a diffuser over medium heat-low.

  5. Allow the tagine to reach a simmer (this may take a long time), and then reduce the heat to the lowest temperature necessary to maintain the simmer.

  6. Allow the tagine to cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the chicken is very tender and the liquids are reduced. (Note: About one hour into the cooking, turn the chicken meat side up, and remove and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquids.)

  7. When the chicken has finished cooking, place the dates, honey, and cinnamon into a small pot with the reserved liquids.

  8. Stir to combine, then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the dates are tender and the sauce is syrupy. To serve, remove and discard the cinnamon stick and cilantro.

  9. Spoon the dates and syrup over the chicken (garnish with sesame or almonds if desired) and serve the dish directly from the tagine.