Apricot, Prune, and Almond Chicken Tagine

Tagine or Tajine? Well, both spellings are right. 

Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Prunes and Almonds

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Serves 6
Great for: An easy dinner party
Wine suggestion: Beaujolais or a Moroccan rosé like a Gris de Boulaouane

For the Chicken:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 chicken breasts or thighs
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence, plus extra for seasoning
4 cloves garlic, peeled, de-germed, and finely minced
1 large yellow onion, peeled and roughly diced
1 tablespoon fresh peeled ginger root, finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon saffron
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup green or black olives
1 red or yellow pepper, diced in large cubes
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
12 dried apricots, roughly chopped
12 dried prunes, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons honey
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup slivered almonds, for garnish
1⁄2 cup flat parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
1/4 cup Lemon Confit à La Marocaine (page #), minced (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Couscous:

Couscous, about 1/2 cup per person*
1 tablespoon paprika
1 lemon, juiced
Vegetable stock, about 1/2 cup per person
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter with a dash of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper, one tablespoon paprika, and herbes de Provence. Cook until lightly browned about five minutes each side. 

Transfer to a plate, and set aside. In the same pot, melt 2 more tablespoons butter with a dash of olive oil. Add the garlic and the onions, cooking until translucent, about five minutes. Stir in the cumin, the remaining paprika, cinnamon, ginger, and saffron, stir and cook until fragrant. Return chicken to the pot. Add chicken stock, olives, chickpeas, peppers, apricots, prunes, and honey, and bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for thirty minutes.  In a small, heated pan, melt the remaining butter and toast the almonds. Ten minutes before serving the chicken, stir in the lemon juice.

To prepare the couscous, place the uncooked grains in the tagine or serving dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Add the lemon juice to the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Pour the stock over the couscous, and cover. After 5 minutes, fluff the grains up with a fork.

Place the chicken stew over the couscous in the tagine or serving dish. Garnish the dish with parsley, toasted almonds, and lemon confit (optional). Pour any remaining juices into a gravy boat. Along with the stock, serve the tagine with a jar of purée of pimento peppers, such as Harissa, on the side. Add a bit of Harissa to a spoonful of sauce and spice up the dish to taste.

* One part couscous to one part vegetable stock.

Bon app! And bisous!


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