Moroccan Chicken Tagine With Tomatoes and Honey

chicken with tomato jam and almonds
Moroccan Chicken with Tomatoes, Honey and Almonds. Christine Benlafquih
  • 115 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins,
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
Ratings

Occasionally we encounter a saucy Moroccan tagine which, although not traditional, begs to be served over rice or perhaps over couscous. This is one of them. And, while I don't normally think to combine sweet flavors with tomatoes, here the additions of cinnamon and honey are surprisingly delicious.

The tagine is prepared by stewing chicken until tender with a generous quantity of tomatoes, which reduce to a thick, savory puree or jam. As with so many sweet and savory tagines, a nutty, crunchy garnish of toasted sesame seeds and fried almonds is extremely complementary.

Moroccan tagines such as this are traditionally served communally with Moroccan bread for scooping up the meat and sauce, but if wish to deviated from the norm, go ahead and serve this on a bed of long grain rice.

Adapted from a recipe by Moroccan cookbook writer Paula Wolfert

Also try Moroccan Tomato Jam, which may be served as a side or condiment.

What You'll Need

  • 1 large chicken, whole or cut into pieces
  • 6 or 7 tomatoes (approx. 3 lb. or 1 1/4 kg)
  • 3 tablespoons (80 g) butter
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • small handful of fresh cilantro (coriander), finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 small piece (2 to 3") of cinnamon stick
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  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
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  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (golden unhulled sesame if possible)
  • handful of fried almonds (see link above)

How to Make It

  1. Peel, seed, and chop the tomatoes. It takes a little time if you're not unfamiliar with the technique, but you'll get the hang of it.
  2. Transfer the tomatoes to a wide, heavy pot along with the butter, grated onion, garlic, cilantro, and spices. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the chicken, cover and bring to a rapid simmer over medium heat. Do not add water. 
  4. Continue simmering, covered, until the chicken is very tender. This will take about an hour for pieces or longer for a whole chicken. Turn the chicken occasionally while it cooks and tests for tenderness by seeing if you can pinch the meat from the bones.
  1. When the chicken is cooked, carefully transfer it to a plate and cover to hold warm.
  2. Add the honey and ground cinnamon to the sauce in the pot and reduce the tomatoes to a thick, sweet puree. Stir frequently and adjust the heat to prevent the sauce from burning.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning. Return the chicken to the pot to reheat gently for five to ten minutes, turning the meat once or twice.
  4. Arrange the chicken on a platter and cover with the sauce. Garnish with the sesame seeds and fried almonds, and serve.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 591
Total Fat 30 g
Saturated Fat 11 g
Unsaturated Fat 11 g
Cholesterol 128 mg
Sodium 854 mg
Carbohydrates 44 g
Dietary Fiber 10 g
Protein 40 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)