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Hen Tagine | RecipeTin Eats

Moroccan Hen Tagine – Hen braised in a wealthy spice-infused sauce studded with chickpeas and dried apricots. Simply, YUM! Serve over couscous for an genuine consuming expertise.

After you’ve made this, strive Vegetable Tagine. Meat-free deliciousness!

Freshly cooked pot of Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Hen tagine

Tagine is a basic North African stew made with meats and greens braised in a gently spiced sauce. It’s historically made in a conical-lidded earthenware pot known as a tagine (from the place the dish clearly will get its identify!) A tagine’s lid is formed so all of the steam trapped within the dome drips again into the dish as condensation, conserving the dish moist because it slowly stews.

There are lots of forms of tagines. Meat, fish and all method of greens could make their manner into this stew. Nuts and preserved fruits like figs, apricots, lemon or olives are additionally typically added to for flavour and curiosity. Right this moment I’ve picked a Moroccan rooster tagine with dried apricots and chickpeas.

And don’t fear! You don’t want an precise tagine to make this – we’re going to make use of a boring previous pot! 😂

Moroccan Chicken Tagine served in a bowl on a bed of couscous

What goes in Hen Tagine

The spice combine used on this Morrocan rooster tagine is Rasa el hanout, a spice mix widespread in North Africa utilized in many dishes. Whereas you should purchase pre-made blends, the stability of flavours could be unpredictable from model to model. It’s so a lot better to make your personal for a constant final result – and it’s cheaper too!

Moroccan Chicken Tagine ingredients
  • Bone-in skin-on rooster thighs are one of the best lower for a tagine as a result of they’re nonetheless juicy after the 25 minutes simmering time required to thicken the sauce and permit the flavours to develop.

    Hen legs are a terrific different. Simply observe the recipe as written. Boneless thighs and breast will work however the cook dinner methodology is greatest altered so as to add them again in partway by way of the sauce simmering time else they’ll overcook. I’ve popped instructions within the notes. 🙂

  • Rasa el hanout – The spice mix for tagine, made with widespread spices chances are you’ll have already got! You should buy blends however I desire to make my very own to get the correct stability of flavours. The great factor right here is that as a result of we’re utilizing a good few totally different spices right here, it’s not the tip of the world should you’re lacking one … and even two. I’ve supplied just a few switch-out choices within the recipe notes!

  • Cinnamon stick – Added to the sauce because it simmers for a lovely fragrance and flavour. I like the scent cinnamon this provides to the dish!

  • Dried apricots – As talked about earlier, some variations of tagine are made with olives, others use dried fruit, different nonetheless could use each. I’ve opted for fruit as a result of it’s one of many few dishes I like that pairs fruit with meat! Nonetheless I’m personally not likely a fan of each dried fruit and olives collectively – it’s just a bit an excessive amount of, I discover. Let one or the opposite shine, I say!

    Nonetheless, the recipe consists of the olive choice too.

  • Chickpeas – Chickpeas add some extra heft to the dish. I simply use canned for comfort however I’ve popped instructions within the notes for cooking dried. Different beans, like cannelloni and butter beans, make honest substitutes, as do lentils.

  • Garlic and onion – Important for the sauce flavour base. It’s uncommon to see saucy recipes on this web site that don’t begin with these!!

  • Canned tomato – For the sauce base. Not strictly conventional however I like the way it thickens the sauce so it clings to the couscous higher. With out, the sauce may be very watery in consistency. Whereas conventional tagines are purported to be like that, I desire a stewy sauce!

  • Hen inventory – So as to add depth to the sauce. When you simply use water, you’ll discover the sauce a bit bland.

    For comfort, I usually use store-bought however do-it-yourself rooster inventory would take this to a different stage. Additionally, vegetable inventory can be a great substitute.

  • Coriander / cilantro – A recent garnish. Really helpful, however not a deal-breaker should you’re a kind of individuals who can’t stand coriander. Or if the value of coriander has sky-rocketed to dizzying ranges recently, because it has right here in Sydney on account of excessive climate circumstances! 😭

Preserved lemon for Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Preserved lemon – Offers tagines a contact of authenticity!
  • Preserved lemon – An ingredient utilized in Moroccan and a few Indian cooking that’s typically utilized in conventional tagines. Unintentionally omitted from the substances photograph above, so I’m giving it air time with an enormous photograph! 😂

    Preserved lemon is lemon merely pickled in salt. The salt mellows the sharpness of the lemon juice and transforms the flavour remarkably, intensifying the earthiness of the lemon flavour within the zest.

    As of late it’s pretty simple to seek out at massive grocery shops in Australia (Coles, Woolies, Harris Farms) however don’t fret should you can’t discover it. Tagine continues to be value making with out it!

The right way to use preserved lemon: We solely use the rind as that is the place all of the flavour is! Take a chunk out of the jar and scrape off the pith (white a part of rind) and pulp utilizing a teaspoon (it’s extraordinarily salty and likewise bitter). Rinse the rind totally beneath faucet water to take away extra salt then finely mince it with a knife.

The right way to make Hen Tagine

Brown the rooster pores and skin till golden, then braise within the spice-infused sauce. Easy!

How to make Moroccan Chicken Tagine
  1. Plump up apricots – Cowl the dried apricots with boiling water then go away for half-hour to plump up.

  2. Brown rooster – Season the rooster with salt and pepper and brown the pores and skin very well in a pan. This takes a great 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t shortcut this step! The browned pores and skin provides a stack of flavour to the rooster, plus it leaves behind golden bits caught on the pan (known as “fond”) which imparts useful flavour to the sauce.

    As soon as the pores and skin facet is properly browned, sear the opposite facet for simply 1 minute then take away. The rooster received’t be cooked by way of at this stage. We’ll end cooking it within the sauce.

  3. Sauté aromatics and spices – Sauté the onion and garlic, then cook dinner off the spices briefly. Sautéing spices earlier than including liquids is an effective tip for releasing extra flavour from the spices. It definitely does for tagines!

  4. Tagine sauce – Add the chickpeas, tomato, preserved lemon, inventory and cinnamon stick. Stir, then carry it to a simmer.

  5. Prime with rooster – Simply place the rooster on prime, pores and skin facet up. It will likely be partially submerged however the flesh ought to largely be beneath the liquid whereas the pores and skin largely sits above the liquid which is strictly what you need as this fashion, the browning on the pores and skin is generally preserves through the braising.

  6. Simmer lined 5 minutes – Regulate the warmth as wanted so it’s simmering gently. Not too quickly else the bottom of the pot will scorch.

  7. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes – Take away the lid then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or till the inner temperature of the rooster is 70°C/158°F (which can be barely lower than 20 minutes). Don’t fear about going above this temperature as bone-in rooster thighs are a really juicy lower so that they’re very forgiving.

  8. Serving! Tagine is historically served over couscous. I’ve popped slightly extra data beneath with some couscous flavouring choices in addition to some alternate options for different carb-y companions.

Close up of Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Close up of cut piece of Moroccan Chicken Tagine served on couscous

What to serve with Hen Tagine


Tagine is steadily served over couscous. Plain couscous is okay although it’s very nice with slightly sprinkle of dried fruit and/or nuts littered all through, or a spritz of recent lemon. You’ll discover numerous flavouring choices within the couscous recipe.

Different starchy automobile choices

Rice (white, brown, basmati), pearl couscous (the large ones), quinoa and another small-grain starchy issues appropriate for sauce-soaking make good alternate options. Even mashed potato or mashed cauliflower can be nice. Simply one thing to slop up all that scrumptious sauce!

When you’re trying the low carb factor, then Cauliflower Rice will work properly too. Really, I feel the slight nutty flavour from roasting the cauliflower rice will go actually properly with Hen Tagine!

Aspect Salad

I feel a light-weight, easy facet salad is sweet to pair with spice-infused dishes like Hen Tagine. Some ideas:

When you’re desirous to make extra of an influence, strive one in every of these:

Or – discover your personal good facet salad right here. 🥬

Like to know what you assume should you do that! – Nagi x

Watch make it

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Close up photo of Moroccan Chicken Tagine, fresh off the stove

Hen Tagine


Faucet or hover to scale

Recipe video above. A well-balanced spice mix is the key to an awesome rooster tagine! Greatest made with bone-in rooster thighs, which keep juicy for the required sauce simmering time. Drumsticks work properly too. Some variations are made with olives, others use dried fruit, and a few even use each. I’ve opted for fruit as a result of it is one of many few dishes I like fruit with meat! See word 7 for the olive choice (it is delish too). Word: Crushed tomato is not usually utilized in conventional tagines however I like the way it thickens the sauce so it clings to the couscous higher.


Ras el hanout spice mix (Word 4):

Various add in choices


  • Plump apricots – Soak the dried apricots in a bowl of boiling water for half-hour, then drain (this plumps them up).

  • Season rooster – Sprinkle each side of the rooster with the salt.

  • Brown rooster – Warmth oil the oil in a big, deep skillet or pot (Word 5) over excessive warmth. Place rooster within the skillet pores and skin facet down and cook dinner for 8 to 10 minutes till deep golden. Flip and cook dinner the flesh facet for 1 minute then take away to a plate.

  • Sauté aromatics & spices – Discard all however 2 tablespoons of fats within the skllet. Scale back warmth to medium. Add onions and cook dinner for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook dinner for 1 minute. Add the Ras el hanout and stir for 30 seconds.

  • Tagine sauce – Add the cinnamon stick, tomato, chickpeas, plumped apricots, inventory and preserved lemon, then stir. Place the rooster on prime, pores and skin facet up.

  • Simmer lined 5 minutes – Carry the liquid to a simmer then cowl with a lid (Word 6). Cook dinner for five minutes, adjusting the warmth as wanted so the liquid is simmering (however not too quickly else base could catch).

  • Simmer uncovered 20 minutes – Take away lid then cook dinner for an extra 20 minutes or till the inner temperature of the rooster is at the very least 70°C/158°F (Word 7).

  • Serve – Take away from range and relaxation for five minutes. Serve over couscous (Word 8), sprinkled with recent coriander.

Recipe Notes:

1. Greatest rooster lower for tagine is bone-in, skin-on thighs because it yields the juiciest outcome. Nonetheless, drumsticks may even work (use 10). For boneless thighs, sear for a few minutes on either side, take away, then make the sauce per recipe and simply add the rooster again into the sauce for the final 5 minutes. For breast, I feel the easiest way can be to totally cook dinner it by way of within the pan, make the sauce per recipe, then lower the rooster into thick slices and toss it by way of the sauce simply earlier than serving.
2. Preserved lemon – An ingredient utilized in Moroccan and Indian cooking, that is lemon that’s pickled in salt. The sharpness of lemon juices is mellowed and the earthiness of lemon flavour within the zest is intensified. Provides a contact of authenticity to tagines however don’t fret should you can’t discover it, tagine continues to be value making with out it. Accessible at most massive grocery shops in Australia.
TO PREPARE: We solely use the rind as that is the place all of the flavour is! Take a chunk out of the jar and scrape off the pith and pulp utilizing a teaspoon. Rinse the rind totally beneath faucet water to take away extra salt then finely mince it with a knife.
3. Spices – You received’t be left missing in case you are lacking a spice (perhaps even two). Make up for it by dialling up those you have got.
4. Cooking vessel – In case you have an precise tagine, kudos to you! I exploit my 30cm / 12″ extensive shallow forged iron casserole dish. Any massive deep skillet or large pot will work wonderful. If it has a lid, even higher. If not, don’t fear – simply cowl with a baking tray or foil for the lined simmering step.
5. Inside temp – Hen thighs are a pleasant juicy lower so you possibly can cook dinner it properly over the goal inner temp – whilst excessive as 85°C/185°F – and it’s nonetheless juicy. (Can’t say the identical for breast!).
6. Olive choice – Skip the dried apricots, use 1 cup of kalamata olives, pitted, or inexperienced olives. No must plump them up! Add in with the tomato.
My private desire is to not use each dried fruit and olives (I simply don’t actually benefit from the mixture, it’s an excessive amount of competing flavours). Be happy to make use of each collectively should you desire!
7. Nuts – Slivered almonds, frivolously toasted till golden in a dry skillet, go actually properly in tagines.
8. Couscous – I exploit this recipe of mine. Additionally terrific with rice.

Vitamin Info:

Energy: 198cal (10%)Carbohydrates: 32g (11%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fats: 6g (9%)Saturated Fats: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fats: 1gMonounsaturated Fats: 3gTrans Fats: 1gLdl cholesterol: 1mgSodium: 995mg (43%)Potassium: 686mg (20%)Fiber: 7g (29%)Sugar: 16g (18%)Vitamin A: 947IU (19%)Vitamin C: 8mg (10%)Calcium: 81mg (8%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

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