North African chicken tagine

North African chicken tagine

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(31 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 25 mins


Serves 4
This easy and freezable chicken tagine is sure to be a family favourite. It's rich, full of depth of flavour and ideal for feeding a hungry crowd

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal630
  • fat38g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs16g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre3g
  • protein58g
  • salt0.86g


  • 2 large chicken breasts, skin on
  • 4 chicken thighs, 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 cloves, 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 seed

    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, questions and tips

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8th Jun, 2020
Superb recipe and a very different flavour profile to most dishes. I added chopped apricots for sweetness, added more garlic and served with a minty couscous. The saffron was a little overpowering for me; so I'd recommend only a small pinch.
1st Mar, 2019
Great recipe. I doubled all the spices and used chicken breasts. It was lovely and not as heavy as some of the tomato-based tagines.
Craig Hesketh's picture
Craig Hesketh
13th Jan, 2018
A bit extra Chilli and some cornflower makes this a superb dish
28th Nov, 2017
The base is good. I've made a tagine style before with tinned tomatoes so I added these in as some reviewers said it was bland. I also just used 2 chicken breasts and a big handful of both lentils and chickpeas as well as a chopped pepper to bulk it out. I didn't bother with saffron because it's too subtle for toddler palates. Also, I will skip the chilli flakes next time as even the smallest pinch made it borderline too hot! I loved it and without the chilli I think the kids will too!
8th Mar, 2017
Found this quite bland. Even my kids thought so too. Again, very runny so used cornflour to thicken. Would suggest some harissa might pep it up.
5th Nov, 2015
Really liked this recipe. I changed the chicken into skinless breasts to keep the fat low and cooked in a slow cooker after browning the chicken in a flour and turmeric coating to help thicken the sauce slightly. I did use the saffron but after eating I think I will leave it out next time. Not a flavour I'm keen on. I also added some ras-el hanout and some apricots.
2nd Sep, 2015
Good flavours. The couscous absorbed quite a bit of the liquid (as others have said.) Forgot to buy honey so used black treacle - delicious!
5th Jan, 2015
It was beautiful even though I did not add any saffron or a pinch dried chilly (whatever that is). I should have added some salt (totally ignored the "season the chicken" bit) but still yum yum yum.
5th Jan, 2015
This was sooo yummy...!
19th Nov, 2013
Love this recipe. I add mushrooms and carrots. Also can't afford saffron so use turmeric instead! 5/5


22nd Aug, 2014
In the recipe North African chicken tagine it says to cut chicken breast in half is that sliced through ?
5th Jan, 2015
I cut them longitudinally in half (two long strips) yum yum yum
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