North African chicken tagine

North African chicken tagine

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(13 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 25 mins

Skill level



Serves 4

Easy and freezable, this chicken tagine will be a family favourite in no time

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



  • 2 large chicken breasts, skin on
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g shallots, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4cm piece ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • large pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch crushed dried chilli
  • 375g peeled butternut squash, cut into chunks
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 rounded tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander

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  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C/gas 4. Cut each chicken breast in half, then season all the chicken. Heat the oil in a mediumsize ovenproof casserole dish. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and brown well all over – you can do it in batches. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Lower heat slightly, add the shallots to the pan and cook until golden brown all over. Add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for 30 secs before adding all the spices and cooking for 1 min more.
  3. Throw the butternut squash into the pan and stir to coat in the spices. Arrange the chicken, skin side uppermost, on top of the shallots and squash. Pour over the stock and drizzle in the honey. Bring to a gentle simmer, then transfer to the oven to bake for 40 mins until tender. Scatter with the coriander and serve with couscous and a bowl of harissa, if you like.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2011

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lyndsayhenders1's picture

Love this recipe. I add mushrooms and carrots. Also can't afford saffron so use turmeric instead! 5/5

LauraTerry's picture

Made this warming one-pot for dinner and received rave reviews. I added 3 cloves, 2 tsp turmeric, chopped dried apricots and a handful of raisins to make it a bit more authentic. Didn't have a butternut squash, so I used a sweet potato which was great and bulked it up with chunks of carrot. Served it over aromatic couscous with almonds. The couscous absorbs some of the liquid in the sauce. YUM! Will make it again.

AVPGrowYourOwn's picture

I've made this several times now one of which was for a dinner party. It was a hit! But I made some changes due to the comments of being too watery. We use 300ml of chicken stock and 100ml of double cream instead of 500ml of chicken stock. It makes a huge difference! This way there isn't so much liquid as the chicken releases water anyway. It stops the skins going gluppy because it can sit out of the sauce and the meat can be poached from the bottom in the sauce. Delicious!

oliviae's picture

Made this in my slow cooker and used all the ingredients as listed above. Really nice flavours but the sauce is very runny. Next time I make it I will add something to thicken it up (maybe some cornflour). But it's a big thumbs up from me.

surreysue's picture

This is a great recipe. I made it in advance (to reheat once our friends arrived) and used only chicken thighs; I also added some dried apricots and served it with rice and crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce. I will definitely be making it again.

lurvlyloz's picture

really enjoyed this reciepe. spicy and tasty. served with cous cous butm ight try with mash next time as was very juicey. used left over roast chicken and added carrots and peas

hornets's picture

Excellent appreciated by all cooked it for a group of ten jeaN

sammymai's picture

Made this tonight and it was yummy! I used to live with a Moroccan family who made amazing food and I have to say that the sauce should be thin but full of flavour as would normally be served with let's of couscous in one big bowl and eaten with torn crusty bread for everyone to dig in at the same time. If you find there to be too much sauce use it instead of water for your couscous, much tastier!

annmleon's picture
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Made double quantities of this last night to take round to friends for New Year's Eve and it didn't work out well at all for me though I do make tajines all the time. I used sweet potato which melted into mush on re-heating and the breast meat was tough and chewy while the thighs and other chicken pieces stayed tender... the sauce was totally lacking in flavour so would need to be heavier handed with the spices too next time round.

AVPGrowYourOwn's picture

Hiya I find this recipe works best with using thighs as it's a much tender meat and doesnt dry out like the breast does. Potatoes wouldn't work for this recipe as they'd just break down stick to some kind of squash even if you don't like butternut as its fibrous structure will survive being cooked in the sauce. Keep doing taste checks so you can season as you cook. :)

michellesmith9's picture
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We absolutely loved this, scored 9/10 with the family. Made a few adjustments to take into account cupboard limitations and earlier comments.
Used cumin, coriander and cinnamon powder and added dried coriander earlier. Added a tablespoon of flour to the butternut squash and cooked off before adding the stock and chicken to thicken the sauce a little.
Made sure I cooked with the lid off, lowered the temperature by 10c and cooked for an hour which gave a nice crisp skin. Served with couscous with red onion and red pepper. Highly recommended.

MFJB's picture

Try coating the meat in flour and seasoning and pan frying just to seal the meat. this also makes the sauce thicker. And add a touch of turmeric for added colour.

beckyvod's picture

Never written a comment before although I use this site a lot. Felt I had to as so many people are changing it to skinless chicken. I did as the recipe said and it was lovely. My husband said the crispy skin was the best bit !
I did use a proper tagine so this may have helped as the chicken just sat on top of the squash and shallots and served on a bed of cous-cous(this helped soak up the lovely juices). It was a really nice dish that I would definitely do again.

clarkiano's picture

If you find sauce is too thin try stirring in a tbl spoon of low fat creme fraiche, or to the required consistency, at the end of cooking. Turns a watery gravy into a sauce.

samjlynch's picture
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Beautiful! I took note of the previous comments and took the skin off the chicken, omitted the honey, cooked for an extra ten minutes to break down the butternut squash a bit more and used 200ml of the stock from the casserole part way through instead of water for my cous cous... Was really yummy, will definitely be making again!

kelly46's picture
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After reading some reviews I was unsure if this would be nice. However I found it easy, full of aromatic flavour and enough warmth to enhance the spices. I did thicken just a little and added chick peas, just because I like them and served with farro grain.
Really enjoyed it and will freeze a portion which I guess will taste even nicer.
I thought the lightly crushed spices was perfect and for a tagine it was not too sweet as no dried fruits in recipe.
I would make this for guests. :)

williamsgran's picture
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Have made this 4 times for dinner parties, everyone loved it and I have had requests for the recipe....
I used skinless boneless chicken breast, which I cut up into chunks. I don't use the butternut squash, although I have used sweet potato or sliced carrots. I thicken the sauce with cornflour, as yes it is too thin, then serve with lashings of creamy mash....yum.

1irishlassie's picture

just realised might have made a mistake by putting a lid on it before i put it in the oven the sauce would have reduced better without the lid any comments about it ?

1irishlassie's picture

very disappointed cooked for tonights dinner as everyone said much too watery added cornflour next time will add a couple of fresh chillies with ginger and garlic as there was no spicy heat ! does anyone have an authentic recipe for tagine as every recipe i come across has a different set of ingredients ! sadly this tagine was lacking flavour anyone any suggestions ?

karendun's picture
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We loved it - made as per recipe except I used all boneless, skinless meat. The sauce was thin but I felt by serving with couscous it was fine. Will be making this tasty dish again.