Serving Moroccan chicken tagine for dinner! Genius idea! Nothing can be better than a flavorsome healthy dinner to feed your family and to please them as well! Thanks to its unique specificities, this authentic Moroccan dish remains the most appreciated among all the other types of North African chicken tagines. It is, also, considered to be one of the best slow cooker recipes!
In this article, I will share with you the full original Moroccan chicken tagine recipe and tell you about the secret behind the incredible success of this traditional Moroccan dish!
The Original Moroccan Chicken Tagine With Vegetables:
- 2 to 3 pound / 1 to 1,5 kilogram whole chicken
- 1/4 cup Argan oil (perfect result) or extra virgin olive oil (good result).
Why Argan oil?
Argan oil is a high-quality culinary oil (in addition to many other uses and benefits). It is a basic ingredient, as far as Berber cuisine is concerned. As you know, cooking traditions, everywhere, are basically influenced by local ingredients, and Berber tagine is a dish with a huge historical background in Southwestern Morocco where Souss Berbers live (region of Agadir and Essaouira). The argan tree is endemic to this region. In fact, argan oil to Moroccans is what olive oil is to Greeks or Italians.
If you do not have Argan oil use extra virgin olive oil. Your tagine recipe will be extraordinarily delicious, too.
3- Vegetables and herbals:
- 2 Large Potatoes: peeled and cut into 4 slices each.
- 1 Big or 2 Medium Onions: yellow or red, chopped.
- 2 Medium Carrots: peeled, cut in half, and sliced lengthwise.
- 1 Fresh Medium Tomato: peeled, cut into 2 halves, and seeded.
- 2 Medium Zucchinis: sliced like carrots but a little bit large.
- 1 Small Handful of Fresh Coriander: minced.
- Green Olives: about 15.
- 1 Fresh Lemon.
- 1/2 tbsp Salt: it depends on your taste.
- 2 peeled and finely chopped Garlic Cloves.
- 1 tbsp Sweet Paprika.
- 2 tbsp Moroccan Ras El Hanout (for chicken).
If it is the first time you hear about ‘Ras El Hanout’; It is a blend of more than 25 different aromatic ground spices. It varies according to regions in Morocco as well as recipes (meat, chicken, fish…). It is considered to be the key ingredient in Moroccan cuisine. I strongly recommend it!
In case you do not have Ras El Hanout in your kitchen, combine:
- 1 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
- 1/2 teaspoon Saffron.
- 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger.
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon.
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric.
Mix all In a small bowl.to use instead of Ras El Hanout.
Before we start, and if you wonder whether you have to rinse your chicken or not!! I can tell you that I personally rinse it. In fact, the majority of chefs around the world rinse chickens before cooking them. We all know that some experts, especially in the US, are against rinsing poultry. USDA, for example, states that poultry should not be washed since water spreads bacteria instead of removing it. They explain that the bird, however, should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees to kill any bacteria. Fortunately, the tagine pot guarantees your safety here! So, do not worry about this and let’s start:
- First, cut up your chicken into pieces like you do to prepare stews and braises. You can remove all the skin or just the breast skin and keep the legs and wings, depending on your preference.
- Once done, put the pieces in a bowl and squeeze fresh lemon juice onto them.
- Leave them for about 20 minutes to marinate (avoid to marinate in a metal container).
- Waiting for the chicken to be ready for cooking, peel, and slice your veggies as previously explained.
- Place your empty tajine on your stovetop.
If you do not have a tagine pot, you can certainly use a heavy-based casserole dish. Of course, the result will not be as perfect but your dinner will please your family, even so.
- Pour oil and Swirl it around.
- Put onions first, then place carefully the chicken pieces.
- Add half the amount of fresh Coriander (we will need the rest later).
- Season with salt, but the same way as coriander, do not use it all (you will use salt again on the veggies).
- Add garlic and your ‘Ras El Hanout’ or mixed spices.
- On medium heat, cook for 15 minutes before you start to mix (a wooden spoon is recommended) until the chicken pieces start to be a little golden.
if you are using a casserole, you have to mix regularly since this pan is not like the tagine pot which takes more time to absorb heat.
- Dice half tomato and add it.
- Arrange carrots, potatoes, and zucchinis side by side.
- Arrange green pepper slices on them.
- Put the second half tomato on top of the vegetables.
- Place green olives.
- Add the rest of the salt (pay attention, olives can be too salty).
- Once done, cover your tagine and reduce heat. The cooking process takes about 1 hour on low heat.
- Remove some liquid, if it starts to overflow, and use it later on the veggies.
- When the veggies are fork-tender, your dinner is ready.
- Before 5 minutes to remove from heat, decorate your special Moroccan Berber tagine with the remaining coriander.
1- While the Moroccan chicken tagine is cooking, it should be covered but you have to check from time to time especially when you cook it for the first time (check it like every 15 minutes and pay attention to the lid which will be so hot).
2- If you are using a casserole, pay attention, maybe you will need to add some water during the cooking process which will take just 45 minutes.
- Serve hot with bread. Serve in a bowl if cooked in a casserole pan.
This healthy slow cooker recipe keeps all nutrient values as well as warm flavors that will surprise you as soon as you take your first bite!.
Make your own Moroccan chicken tagine and enjoy the authentic taste!
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If you are a fan of Moroccan authentic dishes, try this Moroccan Berber couscous recipe!