Dan Goldberg
Recipe from Sunset

Most people think of traditional Moroccan tagines as being long-simmered lamb dishes. When prepared with quick-cooking chicken thighs, they're actually relatively fast to make. Fragrant spices give this dish vibrant layers of flavor, and the cooked-down dried fruits create a silken richness. Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs (with skin)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 small dried red chiles, such as arbol
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 15 dried apricots, halved
  • 15 pitted prunes, halved
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs plus 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest


Total: 1 Hour, 20 Minutes

  1. 1. Heat oil in a 6- to 8-qt. heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn over and cook 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining chicken and set aside.
  2. 2. Drain all but 2 tbsp. oil from pot and reduce heat to medium. Add onion and sauté until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, black pepper, cardamom pods, chiles, and salt and stir to combine. Return chicken to pot and add apricots, prunes, 2 cups chicken broth, and parsley sprigs. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 40 minutes. Take pot off heat and remove parsley sprigs and chiles. Remove skin from chicken.
  3. 3. In a covered medium saucepan, bring remaining 2 cups chicken broth to a boil. Turn off heat, stir in couscous, cover, and let sit 5 minutes. Uncover pan and fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in 2 tbsp. minced parsley, pine nuts, and lemon zest and toss to combine. Mound couscous on a platter. Top with chicken thighs and pour sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp. parsley.
  4. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

March 2007

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 793
  • Calories from fat: 40%
  • Protein: 46g
  • Fat: 35g
  • Saturated fat: 8.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 75g
  • Fiber: 6.2g
  • Sodium: 1043mg
  • Cholesterol: 124mg