Tagine is a Moroccan dish named after the pot in which it is cooked. There are many versions of tagine, typically focusing on a variation of a stew made with meat, vegetables and spices such as ginger, cumin, paprika, and saffron. Recently I took a cooking class in Marrakech and learned how to cook Moroccan chicken tagine.
If you have recently returned from a trip to Morocco you will be familiar with mouth watering meats and tasty steamed vegetables. If you have never been and want to recreate the fantastic food in your own kitchen you will soon fall in love with the exotic flavors of the traditional Moroccan tagine.
Today I am going to demonstrate how to make a traditional Moroccan chicken tagine with potatoes, zucchini, peas, tomatoes and carrots.
½ chicken, skin on
3 small red potatoes
2 red onions
3 small zucchinis
2 beefsteak tomatoes
2 Cups of fresh pea pods
½ bunch italian parsley
1 hot red pepper (optional)
21 green olives (not canned)
1 teaspoon ginger
2 cloves grated garlic
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ preserved lemon (substitution allowed)
Preparing the Moroccan chicken tagine
Chop the vegetables
Chop the onions and place them in the pot, creating a bed for the rest of the ingredients. No water is added to the tagine, the moisture from the onions will steam the meat and vegetables.
Peel the potato, zucchini, and carrots. Slice the entire width of the potato about ¼ inch slices (like thick potato chips). Quarter and slice the carrot and zucchini length wise into about 6″ long sticks. Slice the tomatoes about ¼ inch thick and chop the parsley, split the pea pods and remove the peas.
If you don’t have a preserved lemon you can sauté lemon slices in a pan with olive oil and a dash of salt and sugar over low heat until they become soft.
Prepare the meat
Prepare the chicken by rubbing it with powdered ginger, rinse with cold water and dry. Next prepare the spice rub for the chicken. Mix ginger, grated garlic, black pepper, salt, sweet paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron (prepare by soaking for 30 minutes in a small amount of warm water) and olive oil together in a bowl. Rub liberally onto chicken and set aside. No additional spices are added to the dish so be sure everything sticks to the chicken.
Place the prepared chicken onto the bed of onions. Cover and cook over medium for about 5 minutes. If you don’t have a clay tagine, any large pot will suffice. Add the preserved lemon. Cover the tagine and cook for another 7 minutes.
Add the veggies by placing them in a ring around the edge of the pot starting with the carrots and zucchini orientated vertically (see photo). Next add a ring of potato slices. Finally place the peas and the pepper in the middle, top with sliced tomatoes and finish with the parsley. Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes.
Serve with bread and Moroccan salad and enjoy!