Chicken tagine is a Moroccan cuisine made with spices, garlic, onion, olives, and preserved lemons cooked in a tagine. You may serve this Moroccan chicken in a single pot with whatever side dish you choose. Chicken tagine with couscous, pearl couscous, white or brown rice, or saffron rice, for example!
A tagine, sometimes spelled “tajine,” is a traditional Moroccan cooking vessel made of ceramic or unglazed clay with a round base and low sides. A cone-shaped cover sits on the base during cooking.
Moroccan Chicken Tagine
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 lemon
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 4 pounds), trimmed of excess skin and fat
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and cut into 1/4-in-thick slices
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-3/4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 large or 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick coins
- 1/2 cup Greek cracked green olives, pitted and halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Combine the spices in a small bowl and set aside. Zest the lemon.
- Combine 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest with 1 minced garlic clove; set aside.
- Season both sides of chicken pieces with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or pan over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke.
- Brown the chicken pieces skin side down in single layer until deep golden, about 5 minutes; using tongs, flip the chicken pieces over and brown the other side, about 4 minutes more.
- Transfer the chicken to a large plate; when cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and discard.
- Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have browned at the edges but still retain their shape, 5 to 7 minutes (add a few tablespoons of water now and then if the pan gets too dark).
- Add the remaining minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the spices and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the broth, honey, remaining lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.
- Add the chicken (with any accumulated juices) back in, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the carrots, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes more.
- Stir in the olives, reserved lemon zest-garlic mixture, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice; taste the sauce and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
- Serve with couscous or French Green Beans with Shallots.