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.
- 1 chicken, cut into pieces
- 2 medium onions, grated
- 3 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon 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 colorant)
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon Ras El Hanout (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup butter
- a small handful of cilantro sprigs, tied into a bouquet
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups of pitted dates (such as Medjool)
- 3 tablespoons honey, or to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- a handful of fried almonds (optional)
Conventional Pot Method
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot, mix the chicken with the onions, garlic, spices, oil, and butter.
- 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.
- Add the broth and the cilantro.
- 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.)
- Place the dates, cinnamon, and honey in a small pot with the reserved liquids.
- Stir gently to combine, then simmer over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes until the dates are tender and the sauce is syrupy.
- 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
- Slice one of the onions instead of grating it, and layer the onion rings on the bottom of the tagine.
- Mix the chicken with the grated onion, garlic, oil, butter, and spices, and place the chicken, meat side down, on the onion rings.
- 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.
- Cover and place the tagine on a diffuser over medium heat-low.
- 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.
- 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.)
- When the chicken has finished cooking, place the dates, honey, and cinnamon into a small pot with the reserved liquids.
- 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.
- Spoon the dates and syrup over the chicken (garnish with sesame or almonds if desired) and serve the dish directly from the tagine.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||40 g|
|Saturated Fat||13 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||17 g|
|Dietary Fiber||7 g|