Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Chicken tagine

This is a Moroccan inspired recipe for chicken which is a delicious alternative to roasting, especially if you like olives as this dish uses a mixture of green and black ones. A traditional Moroccan tagine is the best dish to use but, if like me, you don’t possess one, any ovenproof dish will do (earthenware is preferable.)

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. Most are inexpensive spices and add to the sublime taste of the dish. Couscous is a perfect accompaniment to this dish.

Chef’s Glossary: Harissa is a North African fiery paste made with peppers, chillies, garlic, herbs and spices.  I recently discovered a rose flavoured variety made by Belazu which is delicious and gives the dish extra punch. All these ingredients can now usually be found in most major supermarkets in the UK.


Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Prep to Plate: 30 mins  Cooking: approx 1 hour

Difficulty: Difficulty level 1

Ingredients (for 8 portions)

  • 1 chicken (2kg) (or  8-10 thighs)
  • 150g black olives
  • 50g green olives
  • 4 onions
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 4 tbspns sesame seeds (lightly toasted)
  • 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • 1 tspn cinnamon powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander
  • saffron (either 2-3  strands or powdered sachet)
  • 1 tbspn rose harissa paste
  • chicken stock
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. If using whole chicken cut into quarters.
  2. Remove skin from chicken parts (or thighs) and season.
  3. Peel and slice onions finely,chop peppers into small pieces and coriander.
  4. Using a large heavy bottom pan, fry chicken  for a few minutes in a little olive oil.  Remove from pan, drain and set to one side. (You do not want to cook chicken yet, merely to seal in the flavours.)
  5. Fry onions in the same olive oil.(Do not cook on to high a heat as the thin slices may burn.)
  6. Add chopped peppers, coriander and garlic and fry gently for several minutes.
  7. Add chicken, saffron, coriander, cinnamon powder,cinnamon stick, harissa and olives.
  8. Transfer the lot to earthenware oven dish
  9. Add 1 litre chicken stock and cover.
  10. Cook slowly at a low temperature for about one hour.
  11. Check half way through cooking and if required add a little more stock or water to prevent it from drying out.
  12. When chicken is cooked sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over it.
  13. Add lemon juice just before serving.


© (Suzette McDaniel Don’t Burn The Onions) Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express written consent from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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