My Family’s Moroccan Chicken Tagine Recipe
My family’s Moroccan chicken tagine recipe is probably the most requested recipe in moroccanzest. This recipe is generational and has history behind it. I grew up in Morocco watching my grandmother make it from scratch. She used to go daily to the local market to get the ingredients – meat, veggies, and fresh herbs – and get back to our riad to start making the tagine of the day. The chermoula – a mix of spices and aromatics – was pureed in a traditional Moroccan brass mortar. The process from going to the local market to slow cooking the tagine on a traditional brazier used to take the whole morning, during which the smell of the cooking tagine would caress my senses and make me long impatiently for lunch.
The chicken tagine recipe below is a staple in traditional Moroccan cuisine. If you really love Moroccan cuisine and would like to replicate its flavors in your kitchen, I highly recommend checking this tagine ebook. It has the most delicious and quick-to-make recipes of traditional Moroccan cuisine – the chicken tagine recipe below is listed in there as well.
Even as a Moroccan native growing up eating tagine dishes multiple times a week, I never grew bored of them, and there is a reason. Once you learn how to make a traditional Moroccan tagine you acquire the technique to make tens of variations, as you can play with what you have on hand. Tagines are one of those dishes that will get you hooked as they are delicious, nutritious, balanced and so comforting
How to Make Moroccan Chicken Tagine?
To make Moroccan chicken tagine, you will need some chicken (breast, thighs, or any other part), vegetables of your choice, olive oil, and fresh spices and aromatics. The ingredients are very basic; and the good part is you probably already have them in your fridge.
In Morocco, the most common vegetables used in chicken tagines are potatoes, green peas, carrots, cauliflower, green peppers, and zucchini. You can skip the chicken and only use vegetables if you want a vegetarian tagine.
Most of the time, I make my Moroccan chicken tagine with whatever vegetable leftovers are around.
In Morocco, we cook Moroccan chicken tagine in a traditional clay pot, also called tagine. This tagine clay pot helps to slow cook the ingredients, concentrating the flavors while bringing the taste to a new level.
If you don’t have a tagine clay pot, cooking in a regular cooking pan will still give you amazing results. If tagines become a dish you get back to often, then investing in a good tagine pot for your family will be worth the move.
When cooking in any cooking pan, check regularly to make sure the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. You can also use a heat diffuser to diffuse the heat equally and avoid burning.
Now here is the recipe for my family’s chicken tagine. It’s easy and delicious, and you will love it, I’m sure!
Moroccan Chicken Tagine Recipe (Authentic & Easy)
- 4 medium chicken drumsticks
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ pound carrots, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup preserved lemon, 100% natural deseeded and cut in fine slices
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp (rounded) chopped parsley
- 1 tsp (rounded) chopped coriander
- ¼ cup red olives optional, but they add an amazing flavor!
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 to 6 cups water adjust depending on evaporation
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- ½ tsp pepper powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 pinch cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp salt adjust according to your preferences
- Prepare your ingredients. Chop the vegetables and press the garlic.
- Place the heat diffuser on your stove and place your Deep pan on top of it. Make sure everything is stable before you start cooking.
- In the pan, add the chopped onion, oil, pressed garlic, spices, chicken drumsticks, and ½ cup of water. Mix until the drumsticks are entirely covered with the sauce.
- Cover your pan and let everything gently boil for 10 minutes on low heat. Stir from time to time.
- Pour 3-4 cups of water or until your chicken is covered with the sauce.
- Cover the cooking pot and let cook on low to medium heat until the drumsticks are almost ready. This might take from 30 to 40 minutes, depending on your chicken drumsticks. Check regularly and add a little of water if sauce evaporates.
- When the chicken is almost done, add the frozen peas, sliced carrots preserved lemons and half the quantity of parsley and coriander. Cover again and let cook until everything is all tender and well cooked. This can take between 20 to 30 minutes. Check regularly and add water whenever needed.
- Once everything is well cooked and if there is a lot of sauce, uncover your pot and let evaporate for a few minutes. The sauce should be thick, not watery.
- To serve your dish, gently position the chicken drumsticks and vegetables in the center of your plate and pour a little of the sauce on top.
- Decorate with marinated olives and some fresh parsley, and coriander.
- Serve hot or tepid, with fresh bread.
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