Thursday, December 1, 2011

Moroccan Chicken with Couscous

I make a slow-cooker version of this that is really good, but I wasn't in the mood to deal with a slow-cooker meal today. 

I figured I could make a "quick" version of this tagine that I could throw together in around 30 minutes.

It worked out great.

Moroccan Chicken with Couscous
(adapted from here)


2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup of water
2 teaspoons Ras el hanout spice mix (or make up spice mix below)
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

(or if your'e REALLY into it, try this recipe. It's much more involved, but it makes a ton and you can use it for later.)

Quick Tagine:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1/2 inch (or an equal amount to the garlic) fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon flour 
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 oz dried apricots
1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons Ras el hanout spice mix
salt and black pepper
chopped fresh cilantro, to serve


Prep your chicken.

I usually cut my breasts in half so they cook evenly. 

Combine the marinade ingredients and throw everything into a ziplock bag with the chicken.

I marinated mine for about 6 hours.


When you're ready to eat, rinse off the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.

Get a pan over medium/high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.

Toss in the chicken and cook for about 6-8 minutes.

You're looking for some color on the chicken.

Turn the chicken over and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Try to make sure you don't actually "fully' cook the chicken. We're going to be adding it back into the sauce at the end, so it'll re-heat.

Remove the chicken and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Sprinkle on a little salt too.

Add in a few tablespoons of the chicken broth to loosen up anything stuck on the bottom of the pan and scrape it up.

Cook the onions for about 5 minutes until they soften a bit and add in the flour.

Stir to combine and cook for 60 seconds.

Toss in the can of tomatoes.

Add the tomato paste and apricots.

 Add the chickpeas, honey and Ras al hanout.

Finally, add the rest of the chicken broth.

Give everything a stir and cook for 15-20 minutes or so. I just let it go until it tightened up a bit.

Add the chicken back in.

Submerge the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes or until the chicken has heated through.

Serve with couscous. I use the boxed variety that cooks in 5 minutes. I love it and it couldn't be more convenient. 

This turned out to be a complexly flavored meal.

The acid in the chicken worked really with the sweetness in the sauce. It was tart, sweet and salty. The chickpeas added a nice texture and the tomatoes and onions were perfect. Everything went really well with the couscous and everyone ate it up.

I wanted to add some heat to mine and as I don't have any harissa, I just squirted in some Sriracha in mine. Even though it isn't North African, it really worked with the flavors in the tagine. I really enjoyed the extra kick. Give it a try if you like some heat with your meal.



  1. I just made this and it was delish.

    I did, however, make a few adjustments because I was too lazy to go grocery shopping. I used leftover roasted chicken instead of marinating and cooking the chicken. Also, I used a fresh plum instead of dried apricot, and turkey stock instead of chicken broth. I also used ginger powder instead of fresh ginger.

    Thanks for posting this! I'll let you know when I make something else from your blog.

  2. nice! your adjustments sound like they'd totally work. glad you enjoyed it!


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