Moroccan Chicken Tagine
This Moroccan Chicken Tagine is loaded with fall apart tender pieces of chicken, veggies, apricots and almonds all coated in a rich sauce. This is an easy to make chicken tagine, that’s freezer friendly, can also be made in the instant pot and is perfect for a cold night. This Paleo Chicken Tagine recipe is also Whole30, Grain Free, Gluten Free & Dairy Free too!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS MOROCCAN CHICKEN TAGINE
- The Chicken Tagine recipe primarily contains ingredients you might already have in your kitchen. I omitted some ingredients which are often included in traditional tagine because they can often be hard to find (such as preserved lemon).
- The chicken is cooked until melt in your mouth tender and absolutely delicious.
- It’s fancy enough to serve to guests but also easy enough to make for weeknight dinner for the family.
- This Moroccan Chicken Tagine freezes really well and is great to pull out on those night when you are craving a cozy meal.
- It’s rich in flavour and the perfect combination of slightly sweet, tangy and salty.
- Although traditional Moroccan Chicken Tagine is cooked in a tagine (see details below) in this simplified variation of the recipe you can use a large pot, no need to buy a fancy tagine clay pot just to make this recipe. I have also removed some of the harder to find traditional Tagine ingredients such as preserved lemon and the Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout.
- If you are short on time this Chicken Tagine can be made in the instant pot too! (see details below)
WHAT IS A TAGINE?
Chicken tagine is a popular Moroccan dish that is traditionally cooked and served in a tagine, a cone-shaped clay cooking pot with a lid. Tagine refers to both the cooking vessel and what is cooked in it. The origins of the tagine clay pot can be traced back to the Berber tribes of North Africa, who used it to cook and serve their food. The design of the tagine allowed for slow and even cooking, which was particularly useful in the harsh desert environment where the Berber tribes lived. Over time, the tagine became an important part of Moroccan culture and cuisine. The pot was often used to cook stews and casseroles, which were flavored with a range of aromatic spices and herbs. The lid of the tagine helped to trap in the flavors and aromas, creating rich and delicious dishes. Today, the tagine remains an important part of Moroccan cuisine, and is also popular in other parts of North Africa and the Middle East.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN TAGINE?
- Start by cooking the chicken pieces until golden in colour and a crust forms. Searing the chicken before leaving it to simmer in the stew will give it more flavour.
- Next add the ginger, garlic and onion to the pan and saute for a minute or two before adding in the sliced carrots.
- Add in all of the spices, plus the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, chicken stock and sweetener. Give everything a stir, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Once the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened add in the diced apricots, lemon zest and flaked almonds enjoy!
CAN I MAKE CHICKEN TAGINE IN THE INSTANT POT?
This Chicken Tagine can be made in the instant pot! Turn the instant pot on to sear and cook the chicken before removing and adding in the onion, garlic and ginger. Leave the instant pot on sear while you add the spices, tomato paste, canned tomatoes and chicken stock. Once the liquid is simmering return the chicken to the pot. Put the lid on, lock it and make sure the steam valve is in the sealing position. Set the instant pot to pressure cook on high for 9 minutes. After nine minutes, let the pressure release naturally.
WHAT IS SAFFRON?
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world (although when added to a recipe a little bit goes a long way). Saffron is harvested from a plant called crocus sativus which blooms for just 1 week each year, and each flower produces just 3 strands which have to be harvest by hand. Saffron has a mild slightly sweet taste and are most commonly used in Middle Eastern, European and Indian cooking.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN TAGINE
The Paleo Chicken Tagine can be enjoyed on its own as a meal, or served over saffron cauliflower rice (or regular rice). If you don’t have saffron don’t stress, regular rice (or cauliflower rice) would work just fine too!
HOW TO MAKE THIS CHICKEN TAGINE WHOLE30
This recipe is almost Whole30, to make it Whole30 compliant simply skip the honey, the tagine will taste just as delicious without it.
SHOULD I USE CHICKEN THIGHS OR BREASTS?
I recommend using chicken thighs in this paleo chicken tagine recipe because they have more flavour and I find that they hold up better in a stew. If using chicken breasts, cut them into small pieces so that the meat becomes tender when cooked in the stew.
CAN I MAKE THIS CHICKEN TAGINE IN ADVANCE?
You can! This Paleo Chicken Tagine reheats really well. Make it up to 3 days in advance and warm it in a pot on the stove top until completely warmed through. While the dried apricots refrigerate and reheat well, I recommend leaving the flaked almonds out and only adding them right before serving to ensure they remain crunchy.
WHAT ABOUT LEFTOVERS?
Leftover Moroccan Chicken Tagine will last for up to 4 days in the fridge stored in an airtight container. I recommend reheating the chicken tagine in a pot on the stove with a splash of chicken stock. It can also be reheated in the microwave until warmed through. Alternatively any leftovers can be frozen in a container or ziploc bag for up to 4 months.
Here are a few more Middle Eastern inspired recipes that you might enjoy:
- Moroccan Cauliflower Couscous Salad
- Sheet Pan Moroccan Chicken
- Middle Eastern Lamb Stuffed Eggplant
- Chicken Shawarma
- Moroccan Chicken Skewers with Cauliflower Couscous
- 4-Ingredient Moroccan Omelette
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Moroccan Chicken Tagine
- 6 chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp chopped ginger
- 2/3 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp saffron
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 14oz can chopped tomatoes
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup diced dried apricots
- 1/3 cup flaked almonds ( + 1 tbsp for garnish)
- Cut the chicken thighs into 1 1/2 inch sized cubes. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add in the cubed chicken and cook for approximately 8 minutes until golden in colour. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
- Add the diced onion, ginger and garlic to the skillet and cook for 4 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add in the sliced carrots and leave to cook for another 4 minutes.
- Add the spices listed (cinnamon through to cumin) along with the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, honey (if using) and seared chicken. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes of cooking the chicken should be really tender and the sauce will have thickened up. Stir in the lemon zest, dried apricots and flaked almonds. Serve the tagine on saffron rice and garnish with the flaked almonds and parsley.
I’ve been following/adapting to the SCD as I have Crohns & This was delicious, Even my fussy 10 year devoured it! Another one of your recipes added to my family favourites thank you 😉 again.