North African chicken tagine

North African chicken tagine

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 25 mins


Serves 4
Easy and freezable, this chicken tagine will be a family favourite in no time

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal630
  • fat38g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs16g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre3g
  • protein58g
  • salt0.86g
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  • 2 large chicken breasts, skin on
  • 4 chicken thigh, bone in and skin on
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 200g shallots, peeled



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 2 garlic clove, sliced
  • 4cm piece ginger, grated



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
    Coriander seeds

    Coriander seed

    kor-ee-and-er seed

    The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…

  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • large pinch saffron threads



    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch crushed dried chilli



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 375g peeled butternut squash, cut into chunks
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 rounded tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander


  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.

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Comments (30)

williamsgran's picture

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

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.

supermama123's picture

The skin should be removed , it does not stay crisp due to the sauce. also I advise halving the stock, 500ml is by far to much and add 2 chopped plum tomatoes and a bit of juice , the sauce will be slightly thicker, though sauces for theese kind of tajines are not meant to be thick. good luck!

jweg1210's picture

Went straight for skinless chicken - I never have any success with skin-on in this kind of recipe as it just doesn't stay crisp.
I put a tablespoon of cornflour in to make it a bit thicker, but the thinness is definitely more authentic (from my limited experiences of Moroccan restaurants).
I also left out the saffron and put in a smidge of turmeric instead for the colour. Like Ali, I need saffron to be a major player in a recipe before splashing out on it.
If I make again will put half the honey in as I found just slightly too sweet.

alisondefries's picture

I took note of the comments made by Grumpy Koala and DrFabio and adjusted my recipe accordingly. I used skinless chicken breast and boneless and skinless thighs. I also used less stock and added some sweet potato along with the squash. Everyone enjoyed it and as I made twice the quantity I have more in the freezer for another time. Oh yes, I didnt put the saffron in as I thought the recipe didnt warrant the additional cost.

drfabio's picture

1 star for recipe, 4 for flavour. Disappointing - pleased I didn't try this out for friends first.

Chicken - used 6 thighs. Skin turned into nasty gelatinous mess - though I poured the stock around it lost all crispiness, I think because it must have steamed. Will skin next time - and will probably use thigh fillets.

Ridiculously (and disgustingly) fatty, despite pouring off most of what had rendered out. Got about 150ml of fat off at the end before giving up. Skinning will hopefully solve this next time.

Far too watery. Not a sauce so much as a giant pool of stock. Ended up thickening with 3 dessert spoons of cornflour. Will use 300ml instead.

Didn't like the chunks of spice which came from "lightly crushing" - will grind more finely next time.

Flavour was good. Butternut was delicious, and I liked it with lots of chopped coriander. Served it with crusty bread. Will make again, but with some major tweaks.

e_j_c_2000's picture

Oops! I meant to give this three stars, not two!

e_j_c_2000's picture

I tried this recipe a couple of nights ago with a friend and we had mixed success. The chicken was really nice and crispy, and the butternut squash was cooked perfectly. However, my main complaint would be the fact that the sauce is very watery. Without anything to thicken it, it is like a very thin gravy rather than a sauce. The taste of the sauce was also overwhelmingly of saffron, despite only using a small pinch. I have to say that it was much nicer the next day, heated up in a saucepan which caused the butternut squash to break down and thicken the sauce, as well as a good helping of crushed almonds. I would be interested to hear if other people had similar/different experiences.


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