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Tagine is a traditional dish basically linked to Moroccan food. The word tagine means also the cooking vessel made of clay or ceramic. Cooked with a basic element (lamb, beef, fish, or poultry), tagine is a godsend for any cook even with a little talent and experience!
If you are a fan of chicken recipes and you want to discover another dimension of flavor, this article is just for you! I will share with you the original recipe for chicken tagine with vegetables and tell you about the secrets behind the incredible success of this traditional Moroccan food! Believe me, you will be surprised by its authentic unique taste!
The Original Moroccan Food, Chicken Tagine With Vegetables:
- 2 to 3 pound / 1 to 1,5 kilogram whole chicken
Argan oil is a high-quality culinary oil (in addition to many other uses and benefits). It is a basic ingredient, as far as authentic Moroccan food is concerned. If you like to use argan oil for this recipe, choose a good quality.
3- Vegetables and herbs:
- 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)
Ras El Hanout:
If it is the first time you hear about ‘Ras El Hanout’; It is a blend of more than 25 different aromatic ground spices. This traditional spice mix is considered to be the key ingredient in Moroccan cuisine. The best Ras El Hanout is linked to the old food cities like Fez, Rabat, or Marrakech.
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 marinating 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. To protect your tagine pot especially ceramic, I highly recommend using a tagine heat diffuser. 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 sweet paprika and salt, but the same way as coriander, do not use all the salt (you will need to use it later 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 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 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 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 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!