North African chicken tagine

North African chicken tagine

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(25 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 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 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, questions and tips

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29th Jun, 2012
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.
18th Jun, 2012
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.
8th Mar, 2012
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!
7th Jan, 2012
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. :)
25th Mar, 2011
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.
21st Feb, 2011
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 ?
21st Feb, 2011
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 ?
19th Feb, 2011
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.
9th Feb, 2011
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!
7th Feb, 2011
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.


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