This Chicken Tagine with Potatoes, Carrots and Apples is a delicious one pot meal full of herby and tangy flavours. All you need is some bread! Or couscous.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Table of contents
What is an Authentic Tagine Recipe?
One of the more common questions I get asked in my Moroccan cooking classes is what makes an authentic tagine recipe.
My reply is always the same: there are too many tagine recipes to call a single one authentic and it also does rather depend on where you are from!
While you can get almost specific recipes in North Africa, you are most likely going to find a huge mix of combinations, both in terms of “filling” and flavour.
Chicken tagines, lamb tagines, vegetable tagines, egg tagines; with or without olives, with or without preserved lemons and so many other variations.
Today’s Chicken Tagine Recipe
Today’s recipe is pretty straightforward, and like all tagine recipes, can be made in a tagine, a Dutch oven or a regular saucepan.
- We start off with making Chermoula, a 5 minute marinade that’s popular all over North Africa. Click to read more.
- We then marinate the chicken while we get the other ingredients ready, then off we go, leaving everything on the hob.
If you can, and the chicken will be better for it, marinade the chicken for an hour or even overnight if you fancy.
One Pot Chicken Tagine Recipe
Sometimes, tagines are a side dish, but sometimes, they can be a complete one pot meal. Like today’s chicken tagine.
Here, the potatoes and carrots add substance to the whole dish and a touch of sweet as well. The apples add a wonderful sweet and tangy dimension that complements the preserved lemon we’re using in this recipe.
The final dish is a complex mix of earthy, spicy (not hot) sweet and tangy flavours that will be perfect with just about any starch you fancy having.
How to Serve this Chicken Tagine?
When eating out in North Africa, we would almost always have these kind of tagines with bread. However, if we were buying it to take it home, we’d cook some couscous to go with it, as the kids prefer it with couscous.
So you can serve it however you like, and really, any bread will do. I have a thing about French baguettes and stews/curries – match made in heaven!
Needless to say, white rice is another fantastic accompaniment to tagines, its bland constitution soaks up all the flavours of a tagine beautifully.
What is Liquid Saffron?
You’ll see that I list liquid saffron as an ingredient here, something that we’ll be making ourselves that takes minutes only.
Some Middle Eastern recipes, especially of Persian origin, call for liquid saffron. On the other hand, many recipes by non Middle Eastern cooks will ask you to soak the saffron in water for 20 minutes or so before using it.
In the former, you use every single bit of the saffron. However, in the latter, the saffron threads, to me, are wasted and not fully appreciated in the recipe.
To get liquid saffron, all we do is grind it and soak it briefly in hot water. That’s it.
Click here for my method and the video that accompanies it.
Making this Chicken Tagine Vegetarian
Replace the chicken with a combination of chickpeas (and/or other beans) and stew friendly vegetables like courgettes (zucchini), aubergines (eggplants) and squash. Even okra would be great but leave them whole.
Make Ahead Chicken Tagine
Can be made well ahead of time and reheated very gently. It is absolutely wonderful the next day, just like curries and stews.
However, I wouldn’t freeze it, as the potatoes will basically fall apart after freezing.
More Tagine Recipes on LinsFood
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Chicken Tagine with Potatoes, Carrots and Apples
- 1 kg chicken portions
- 1 large white onion sliced in rings
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes sliced in rings
- 2 large potatoes cut in long wedges
- 2 large carrots halved then sliced lengthwise to match the potato slices
- 2 large eating apples of your choice
- 125 ml water
- 1/2 a preserved lemon
- small handful of parsley and coriander cilantro for garnishing
- 2 Tbsp EV olive oil
- 1 Tbsp liquid saffron
- 1/2 the pulp from the preserved lemon finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped/crushed
- 1 small handful of fresh coriander cilantro, chopped (leaves and stalks)
- 1 small handful of fresh parsley chopped (leaves and stalks)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp salt
Make the Chermoula First
- Make the chermoula by mixing all the ingredients together, saving the preserved lemon rind. You could place everything in a chopper for a smoother paste. Set aside.
Marinate the Chicken
- Marinate the chicken portions with it and set aside while you get the other ingredients going.If you have the time, leave the chicken to marinate for about an hour, or even overnight, in the fridge.
Let's Get Cooking
- Slice the preserved lemon rind into thin slithers and set aside.
- Take your chosen cooking pot, whether a tagine, a dutch oven or a regular old saucepan and line it with the sliced onions.
- Follow with the tomato slices.
- Then, place the chicken all around the pot, over the tomatoes, spreading them out and packing them in neatly. Reserve the extra chermoula.
- Scatter the preserved lemon rind slices all over.
- Arrange the potatoes and carrot slices with their ends meeting in the middle, forming a slight dome shape, as in the picture. Don’t worry about neatness. If you have too many, do an extra layer or tuck them in amongst the chicken.
- The apple slices are going to be too small to “line up” alongside the potatoes and carrots, so I like to just “insert” them in whatever spaces I can see. But feel free to line them up double to meet the length of the carrots and potatoes.
- Pour the water on the side of your cooking pot, without it touching and “rinsing” the chicken.
- Finally, top the vegetables and fruit with the rest of the chermoula.
- Place the pot on the hob on medium high heat, remembering the diffuser if you are using a tagine itself.
- Bring everything to a simmer, then lower the heat almost right down and cook for 2 hours if using a tagine and 1 hour if not. Check to make sure that the potatoes are done.
- When done, take off heat and leave the tagine to rest for 10 minutes.
- Scatter the herbs all over and serve.