Chicken Tagine

Chicken Tagine

 

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a fancy dinner recipe, so I cooked up this North African dutch oven chicken recipe last night, and boy was it delicious. It’s a decent amount of work, between making the spice rub and prepping all the vegetables, but it’s worth it. One thing this dish really demonstrates is the beauty of layering flavors. From the spice rub to browning both the chicken and the vegetables, then finishing it by caramelizing some tomato paste and deglazing all the pan fond with chicken stock, you really add a lot of flavor compared to just dumping everything in the pot and cooking. I’ve simplified the recipe somewhat, omitting the saffron and ginger (mainly because I didn’t have them around when I thought I did). So if you don’t mind putting in a bit of work, here’s a fantastic, healthy, and unusual chicken dish for you to try!

Start by combining the spices in a dry saute pan set over low heat, and heat them, stirring occasionally, until they start to toast and become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub the chicken with olive oil, then season them on both sides with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the spice rub.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, and prepare a large bowl of ice water on the side. Core the tomatoes, and score an ‘X’ on the bottom. Boil the cauliflower for 3 minutes, then immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water and stir to chill them down quickly. Boil the tomatoes for 20 seconds, then transfer to the ice water bath.

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Remove both from the ice water bath and pat dry. Peel the skin off the tomatoes then cut them into quarters lengthwise. Trim away the seeds to make petals.

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Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium high heat, and sear the chicken in batches, starting skin side down, until browned.

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Remove the chicken to a large Dutch oven or tagine pot, reduce the heat to medium, and brown the cauliflower. Add the browned cauliflower to the chicken.

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Reduce heat to medium low, then add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onions are almost translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic (and ginger and saffron, if using), and cook for 1 more minute.

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Add the tomato paste, increase heat to medium high, and cook until the tomato paste starts to darken and caramelize, about 2 minutes. Immediately add chicken stock and deglaze, scraping all the brown fond off the bottom of the pan.

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Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by 1/3.

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Pour sauce over the chicken and cauliflower, cover the pot, and transfer to the oven. After 20 minutes, remove, stir in the tomatoes, olives, and lemon juice, then cover, return pot to the oven, and cook 20 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with cilantro leaves, and serve with couscous or as a stew.

Chicken Tagine

Chicken Tagine
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe adapted from Daniel Boulud
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • FOR THE SPICE MIX
  • 1½ tablespoons sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1½ teaspoons ginger powder
  • ¼ tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • FOR THE TAGINE
  • 6 chicken thighs, approximately 3 pounds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons spice mix
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1 pinch saffron (optional)
  • 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup green olives, like Castelvetranos
  • ½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine the spices in a dry saute pan set over low heat, and heat them, stirring occasionally, until they start to toast and become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub the chicken with olive oil, then season them on both sides with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the spice rub.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, and prepare a large bowl of ice water on the side. Core the tomatoes, and score an 'X' on the bottom. Boil the cauliflower for 3 minutes, then immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water and stir to chill them down quickly. Boil the tomatoes for 20 seconds, then transfer to the ice water bath.
  4. Remove both from the ice water bath and pat dry. Peel the skin off the tomatoes then cut them into quarters lengthwise. Trim away the seeds to make petals.
  5. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium high heat, and sear the chicken in batches, starting skin side down, until browned.
  6. Remove the chicken to a large Dutch oven or tagine pot, reduce the heat to medium, and brown the cauliflower. Add the browned cauliflower to the chicken.
  7. Reduce heat to medium low, then add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onions are almost translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic (and ginger and saffron, if using), and cook for 1 more minute.
  8. Add the tomato paste, increase heat to medium high, and cook until the tomato paste starts to darken and caramelize, about 2 minutes. Immediately add chicken stock and deglaze, scraping all the brown fond off the bottom of the pan.
  9. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by ⅓.
  10. Pour sauce over the chicken and cauliflower, cover the pot, and transfer to the oven. After 20 minutes, remove, stir in the tomatoes, olives, and lemon juice, then cover, return pot to the oven, and cook 20 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with cilantro leaves, and serve with couscous or as a stew.

 

 

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