“Quick braise” is an oxymoron, but honestly – this is it. This chicken tagine recipe is fail-proof, you just have to commit to the recipe and cooking instructions. Don’t get discouraged by the cooking time or the list of ingredients. Chicken tagine is one of my favorite dishes because it just keeps getting better with time. It’s a great dish to cook for a crowd and you can even make this dish a day in advance and reheat it 30 minutes before you serve it. This dish is full of flavor and the fall-off-the-bone chicken will bring you back to this recipe again and again.
Difficulty Level: Medium
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours (depending on how quick you prep)
- A deep pan or dish that can be used on the stove-top and oven (like a let creuset). If you don’t have one of these, start in a large pan and transfer to an oven safe dish with a tight fitting lid.
- A medium sauce pan with a tight fitting lid
- A baking sheet
- A cutting board & a sharp knife
- A measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- 3 chicken leg/thighs, skin on, bone in(leg and thighs cut apart so there are 6 pieces total)
- 1 quart chicken stock
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, medium dice
- 6 medium carrots (3 sliced, 3 small dice)
- 1 bunch cilantro (half chopped, half leaves picked and left whole)
- 1 tbs ground cumin
- 1 tbs ground coriander
- 2 tbs turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 3 tbs honey
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
- 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
- 1 pint castelvetrano olives, pitted, roughly chopped
- 1 preserved lemon, seeds removed, rough chopped
- 4 tbs olive oil plus 1 teaspoon
- salt to taste
Preheat your oven to 350°. In your large pan or oven/stovetop safe dish, heat 3 tbs olive oil over medium high heat. Salt your chicken and place it in the pan skin side down. Sear the chicken for about 5 minutes or until the skin releases from the pan. You want the skin to be dark brown and crispy before you flip it. Flip the chicken and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and put to the side until later. In the same pan the chicken as just in, lower the head to medium and add the onions, half of the chopped garlic and the sliced carrots. Sauté until the onions have softened and are translucent. Add all the dried spices and a teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the spices are very fragrant. Raise the heat to high and add the white wine vinegar. Using a wooden spoon help scrape anything that was stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the honey and stir until combined. *If you are using a shallow pan up until this point, transfer this mixture to your baking dish. Return the chicken to the pan if you started with a deep dish that could be used both on the stovetop or the oven, skin side up so that no chicken overlaps. Pour 3 cups of chicken stock into the pan and add the olives and preserved lemon. Place in the oven, covered, for 40 minutes.
While the tagine is in the oven, toss the cauliflower with a teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and place on a sheet tray. Roast the cauliflower in the oven for about 15 minutes or until it begins to brown and crisp. Set aside once cooked.
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the fresh ginger, diced carrots and the rest of the chopped garlic. Sauté until fragrant. Adjust heat to high and add the last cup of chicken stock plus ¼ cup water with a ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, slowly stir in the couscous. Remove the pot from the heat and cover for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes immediately fluff with a fork. Add half of the chopped cilantro and adjust seasoning with salt. Set aside in a bowl.
Uncover the tagine and add half of the roasted cauliflower. Return to oven, uncovered and cook for another 20 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and vegetables from the dish and put on a platter with a lip. Sprinkle the rest of the roasted cauliflower around the platter
Only the sauce should be left in the dish. Again, if you can put this dish on a stove-top, bring it to a boil and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce reduces slightly. If you switched vessels half way through return the sauce to the original pan you used and boil on high for 5 minutes or until the sauce reduces. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables and garnish with the chopped and whole cilantro. Serve with the couscous and enjoy!