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
How to Make It
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.
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.
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.
This is my GO TO recipe when I'm having company. Perfect level of heat and sweet. I cook it in an enameled cast iron dutch oven and it comes out perfect every time. I wish my home always smelled like this dish too! So homey and comforting, with familiar elements in an exotic preparation
Oh my gosh, this was delicious! I did add a yam based on the suggestion of another reviewer. I made this with chicken thighs as called for, but I think this would be just as good without any meat. I'm tempted to add chickpeas next time . . . Unfortunately, my family did not care for it mainly because of the prunes and apricots. I might try it with leaving them out, but I just don't think it will be as good.
This recipe was delicious. I didn't have the chilis so I substituted chili sracha sauce I had on hand. The flavors were a mixture of suttle sweetness & a bit of heat. I kept the couscous simple & left out the pine nuts, parsley & lemon zest only b/c I didn't have it available. Definitely a keeper recipe. Also I used boneless skinless chicken thighs since that's what I had.
The flavors were delicious, but next time I would try using skinless chicken thighs.. By the time the braising was done, the broth was too greasy for our tastes (because of the fat from the skin), and I had to degrease it using a gravy separator before serving. Otherwise a fabulous blending of fruit and spice. We forgot to use chicken broth for the couscous, and it was still delicious. Note: we found that toasting the pinenuts in a 325 degree oven for about 5 minutes worked well, but check them, as they can burn easily!
MMMMMMMorocco! This recipe is just delicious! Well worth investing in the exotic spices, because we will definitely use them again. Like another cook, we used skinless chicken thighs, and we used ground cardomom instead of pods. Also used ground chile powder. My family all loved this meal. I made it in my wok, which worked well, but I am considering buying a piece of "Tagine" cookware.
Wow, this recipe was amazing. The chicken was so good and the flavors were amazing. We just used an entire chicken and cut it up into pieces. The breast was a little dry but taste was great. We didn't have cardamon pods so we just left it out, but it was still so good. Definitely on the top of our list.
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