Moroccan tagines make delicious family meals, yet the presentation in a clay or glazed tagine is impressive enough for company. Try this basic Chicken Tagine with Potatoes and Carrots.
Traditional tagine cooking involves slow cooking over low heat in a Moroccan tagine. Chicken dishes like this one typically take up two hours to cook, and are definitely worth the wait.
Serves 4 to 6.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
- 1/2 or 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces and skin removed
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4" thick planks
- 4 large potatoes, cut into 1/2" slices or wedges
- 1 large onion, sliced into thick rings
- 1 small or medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- small bunch of coriander, tied
- handful of red or green olives, rinsed
- 1/2 of a preserved lemon, cut into quarters and seeds removed
Pour enough of the olive oil into the tagine to coat the bottom. Layer the onion rings across the bottom of the tagine, and arrange the carrots on top of the onions.
Add the chicken to the center of the tagine, and place the coriander on top. Arrange the potatoes around the chicken, and then distribute the chopped onions, garlic and spices over everything.
Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken and potatoes. Add the water to the tagine, and place over medium heat. Use a diffuser if you like, but as long as the heat is kept fairly low, a traditional tagine should be safe on a burner.
Cover the tagine, and bring the dish to a simmer. (Be patient, it takes a good 10 minutes for the tagine to heat up to this point.) Adjust the heat to medium-low or low, checking occasionally to be sure that you can still hear the tagine simmering.
Note: Use the lowest possible temperature required to keep the tagine simmering. If you smell something burning, the heat is too high and the water is evaporating. In that case, add a little more water, and lower the heat.
Allow the tagine to cook for about an hour, and then turn the chicken pieces over. Add the olives and lemon, cover, and continue cooking for another half hour to hour, or until the chicken tests done and the vegetables are tender. Turn the chicken so that it is meat-side up, and if necessary reduce the liquids until they are a rich sauce. I discard the coriander at this point, but you can leave it in the tagine if you prefer.
The chicken will stay hot in the covered tagine for quite a while. Serve the dish directly from the tagine, with each person using bread to scoop up the chicken and vegetables from his own side of the dish.