Moroccan Chicken Tagine

I bought myself an earthenware cooking dish called a Tagine. In North Africa, a stew of spiced meat and vegetables is prepared by slow cooking in this shallow earthenware cooking dish with a tall, conical lid. You may use the dish to provide a variety of meal types.

The first dish I prepared with mine was a Chicken Tagine. It turned out quite well and was even better the next day and the day after. I also made a side dish of Moroccan couscous. The next day, I had my leftover chicken with white rice.

The dish was super easy to make. I hope you will try this one yourself, and it can be made without the actual tagine earthenware.


1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ 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 (see note)
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, halved and cut into ¼-in-thick slices
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1¾ cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
2 large or 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick coins
½ cup Greek cracked green olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Combine the spices in a small bowl and set aside. Zest the lemon. Combine 1 teaspoon of lemon zest with 1 minced garlic clove; set aside.
  2. Season both sides of chicken pieces with 2 teaspoons salt and ½ 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.
  3. 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 ¼ 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.
  4. Add the carrots, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes more.
  5. 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.

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