Moroccan Chicken Tagine Recipe | Savory Moroccan Stew

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Enjoy the Flavors of Morocco with this Authentic Chicken Tagine Recipe

Morocco market in Marrakech showing spices

Immerse your senses in the enticing spices and aromas of authentic Moroccan cooking with this flavorful Moroccan Chicken Tagine Recipe. As a celebrated dish in the famously healthy Mediterranean diet, this comforting chicken stew delivers a mouthwatering blend of sweet and savory flavors, making it a perfect choice for those exploring Mediterranean diet recipes.

Moroccan Cuisine: A Culinary Journey

Moroccan cuisine, a culinary gem of North Africa and a pivotal part of Mediterranean diet recipes, is as vibrant and diverse as Morocco’s rich cultural heritage. Influenced by Berber, Arab, Andalusian, and broader Mediterranean traditions, Moroccan cooking is characterized by its intricate blend of flavors, aromatic spices, and unique cooking techniques. This exploration delves into the heart of Moroccan culinary art, revealing the essence of a cuisine that has captivated food enthusiasts and followers of the Mediterranean diet worldwide.

Cultural Melting Pot of Flavors

Moroccan Street

Morocco, a strategic crossroads between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, has significantly influenced its cuisine, making it a cornerstone of Mediterranean diet recipes. The indigenous Berbers of North Africa introduced the tagine and couscous, staples in Moroccan food. The Arab conquest brought a variety of new spices, nuts, and dried fruits, enhancing the depth of Moroccan dishes. Additionally, Andalusian Muslims and Jews fleeing Spain in the 15th century brought with them olives, citrus, and various pastries, further enriching the culinary tapestry of Morocco.

The Spice of Life in Moroccan Cooking

The soul of Moroccan cuisine and a key element in Moroccan Chicken Tagine Recipe lies in its use of spices. Cumin, coriander, saffron, cinnamon, ginger, and paprika are staples in Moroccan kitchens, each adding a unique layer of flavor to dishes. Ras el Hanout, a hallmark of Moroccan spice blends, is a complex and aromatic mixture that can contain over 30 different spices. These spices are not only pivotal for their flavors in Moroccan dishes but are also cherished for their medicinal and preservative properties.

Moroccan Market at night showing diversity and spices.

The Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes simple, plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, olive oil, and spices. Research consistently links the Mediterranean diet to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive decline. This chicken tagine recipe encapsulates the healthy staples of Moroccan meals with its medley of veggies, herbs, spices, and lean protein.

History and Culture of Moroccan Tagine

A tagine, like the one used for our Moroccan Chicken Tagine Recipe, refers to both a North African clay pot and the stew slow-cooked inside it. These stews have been part of Moroccan culinary culture for centuries. Their name comes from the Arabic word “tajin,” meaning “to cook.” Traditional tagines allow the condensation from the stew to drip back down into the pot, keeping the meat tender and infusing it with flavor. While not strictly necessary, cooking this chicken tagine in an authentic clay tagine pot adds wonderful depth and aroma.

This comforting chicken stew combines ingredients popular throughout North Africa and the Mediterranean, like olives, preserved lemons, chickpeas, and warming Moroccan spices. It provides a savory glimpse into Morocco’s unique culture, blended from Berber, Arabic, and European influences over generations of rich history. The exhilarating balance of sweet honey and tart lemons is a perfect example of Moroccan flavor fusion at its finest.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine Recipe in a traditional clay pot

Moroccan Chicken Tagine Recipe | Savory Moroccan Stew

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This slow-cooked Moroccan chicken tagine recipe combines the delicious flavors of olives, preserved lemon and chickpeas into a savory, sweet and rich stew. Learn to add a taste of North Africa to your Mediterranean diet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, Moroccan
Servings 6 people
Calories 550 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 – 3 to 4 pounds (1.3-1.8 kg) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons (3.15 grams) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (1.57 grams) turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon (1.57 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.84 grams) paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.84 grams) ground nutmeg
  • 1 – 14.5 ounce can (400 grams) diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 14.5 ounce can (400 grams) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (240 grams) olives, pitted
  • 1 preserved lemon, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup (31 grams) raisins
  • 2 cups (475 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons (24.84 grams) honey
  • 1/4 cup (31 grams) chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup (31 grams) chopped parsley

Instructions
 

  • Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a tagine pot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches if needed, add the chicken pieces skin-side down. Cook until the skin is browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer browned chicken pieces to a plate.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and garlic to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are softened. Add the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, chickpeas, olives, preserved lemon, raisins, chicken broth, honey, half the cilantro, and half the parsley. Bring to a gentle boil.
  • Nestle the browned chicken pieces into the sauce in an even layer, moving them around so they are mostly submerged. If needed, add a bit more broth so most of the chicken is covered.
  • Partially cover the pot and gently simmer for 45-60 minutes. Baste the chicken with the sauce every 15 minutes until the chicken is very tender and easily pulls away from the bone.
  • Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Garnish Moroccan Chicken Tagine with the remaining cilantro and parsley.
    Serve warm with couscous or rice. Enjoy!

Notes

Serves: 4-6
Macros (per serving based on 6):
  • Calories: 550
  • Fat: 17g
  • Carbs: 50g
  • Protein: 60g
Keyword Chicken, Moroccan, Tagine

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Bring the Flavors of the Mediterranean Home

This aromatic Moroccan chicken tagine is just one delicious example of the incredible diversity of Mediterranean cuisine. The Mediterranean diet offers a lifetime of culinary adventure, full of bright, fresh flavors that boost heart health, gut health, brain health, and more!

If you’re inspired to make the Mediterranean lifestyle your own, join my Mediterranean Diet Lifestyle Mastery Course today. My online program guides you step-by-step to adopting a diet that is scientifically proven to support your health.

I can’t wait to share the flavors of the Mediterranean with you!


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About the author

Meet Kenton, the creator and writer behind Explore Med Life, renowned for his impressive 12-year journey dedicated to sharing the delights of Greek Mediterranean cuisine through his website and collection of cookbooks. Now, he's on a new mission: to make the Mediterranean Diet accessible to everyone and help 1 million people get healthy and change their lives. Follow along as we uncover the secrets and science-backed health benefits of this joyous lifestyle!

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