This easy and quick chicken tagine, served over couscous, is a festive one-pot meal. It has sweet highlights of apricots plus filling chickpeas stewed in the spiced sauce.Yum
This chicken tagine with apricots is a shortcut tagine: unlike in the traditional format, the stew doesn't cook slowly under the steamer in which the couscous will be lovingly, and laboriously, cooked. However, for all that, it is bursting with flavor. It only needs about 30-40 minutes to cook, thanks to quick-cooking chicken breasts and sweet potatoes, as well as canned chickpeas and quick-cooking couscous.
After browning the chicken, you'll layer in the onions, then potatoes and chickpeas. Season everything up, simmer in chicken stock (or be Israeli and use bouillon soup powder) and about a half hour later you have a delicious tagine that's a whole meal in itself
This low-key tagine is amenable to adaptation, so don't let lack of a certain ingredient keep you from playing with the base recipe. No apricots? Plums would also work, as would golden (or regular) raisins. (By the way, my apricots in the picture look like plums because they're unsulphured, so they turn a darker color.) You can use yellow potatoes in place of the sweet potatoes, though you'll likely need to let them cook 5-10 minutes more. You can leave out the chickpeas if you'd rather and still have a substantial stew.
Serving the chicken tagine
I have and love my dedicated steamer for cooking couscous the Moroccan way, and it's indeed preternaturally delicious prepared that way. However, the shortcut way is also great and here the addition of scallions really elevates the base for your tagine. I make the couscous before starting the tagine, then fluff it with s fork before serving the tagine over the couscous.
Tagines always look great served in Moroccan ceramics; mine are by Le Souk Ceramique, which is no longer importing pieces from my understanding, though there is some stock still available on Amazon if you search "Le Souk."
Looking for more Moroccan recipes?
- Moroccan chraime - this succulent dish of fish stewed with spiced tomato and pepper sauce, is traditional for Shabbat.
- Ras el-Hanout Meatballs with Saucy Peas - A Moroccan home cooking favorite in Israel.
- Moroccan Meat Cigars - If only for giving the world meat cigars, Moroccan cuisine is among the culinary superstars.
Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Couscous (meat)
- 1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-5 breasts) - 750 g
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 can chickpeas - 1 ¾ cups - 400-425 g
- ⅓ cup dried apricots - about 15
- 2 cups chicken stock - (you'll need 2 more for the couscous)
- 1 ½ cups quick-cooking couscous
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 scallions
Moroccan spice blend:
- 1 ½ tsp sweet paprika
- 1 ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
Make the spice blend:
- Combine the spices and mix together until thoroughly blended. Set aside
Make the couscous:
- Slice the scallions thinly and set aside.
- Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a pot.
- Add the oil and scallions to the boiling stock. Stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from the heat. Set aside to steam.
Make the tagine:
- Cut the chicken into cubes, large bite-sized pieces.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, straight-sided skillet. Brown the cubed chicken until light golden on both sides, 5-6 minutes.
- Slice the onion and add it to the skillet. Cook until softened, 3-4 minutes.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and slice or dice them. Add to the skillet along with the drained chickpeas and apricots.
- Season with the spice blend, then pour the chicken stock over everything. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for another 20-30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
- Fluff the couscous before serving with the tagine.