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Hen Tagine | RecipeTin Eats

Moroccan Hen Tagine – Hen braised in a wealthy spice-infused sauce studded with chickpeas and dried apricots. Simply, YUM! Serve over couscous for an genuine consuming expertise.

After you’ve made this, attempt Vegetable Tagine. Meat-free deliciousness!

Hen tagine

Tagine is a basic North African stew made with meats and greens braised in a gently spiced sauce. It’s historically made in a conical-lidded earthenware pot known as a tagine (from the place the dish clearly will get its title!) A tagine’s lid is formed so all of the steam trapped within the dome drips again into the dish as condensation, conserving the dish moist because it slowly stews.

There are lots of styles of tagines. Meat, fish and all method of greens could make their means into this stew. Nuts and preserved fruits like figs, apricots, lemon or olives are additionally typically added to for flavour and curiosity. At the moment I’ve picked a Moroccan hen tagine with dried apricots and chickpeas added. My tagine isn’t strictly conventional however nonetheless very a lot channels all that’s fantastic about Moroccan tagines!

And don’t fear! You don’t want an precise tagine to make this – we’re going to make use of a boring previous pot! 😂

Moroccan Chicken Tagine served in a bowl on a bed of couscous

What goes in Hen Tagine

Rasa el hanout is a spice mix widespread in North Africa utilized in many dishes, together with tagine like right here. Whereas you should purchase pre-made blends, the steadiness of flavours could be unpredictable from model to model. It’s so a lot better to make your personal for a constant end result – and it’s cheaper too!

Moroccan Chicken Tagine ingredients
  • Bone-in skin-on hen thighs are the perfect minimize for a tagine as a result of they’re nonetheless juicy after the 25 minutes simmering time required to thicken the sauce and permit the flavours to develop.

  • Rasa el hanout – The spice mix for tagine, made with widespread spices you could have already got! You should purchase blends however I choose to make my very own to get the proper steadiness of flavours. The good factor right here is that as a result of we’re utilizing a good few totally different spices right here, it’s not the top of the world when you’re lacking one … and even two. I’ve supplied just a few switch-out choices within the recipe notes!

  • Cinnamon stick – Added to the sauce because it simmers for an attractive fragrance and flavour. I like the scent cinnamon this provides to the dish!

  • Dried apricots – As talked about earlier, some variations of tagine are made with olives, others use dried fruit, different nonetheless might use each. I’ve opted for fruit as a result of it’s one of many few dishes I like that pairs fruit with meat! Nevertheless I’m personally probably not a fan of each dried fruit and olives collectively – it’s just a bit an excessive amount of, I discover. Let one or the opposite shine, I say!

    Nevertheless, the recipe consists of the olive choice too.

  • Chickpeas – Chickpeas add some extra heft to the dish. I simply use canned for comfort however I’ve popped instructions within the notes for cooking dried. Different beans, like cannelloni and butter beans, make honest substitutes, as do lentils.

  • Garlic and onion – Important for the sauce flavour base. It’s uncommon to see saucy recipes on this web site that don’t begin with these!!

  • Canned tomato – For the sauce base. Not strictly conventional however I like the way it thickens the sauce so it clings to the couscous higher. With out, the sauce could be very watery in consistency. Whereas conventional tagines are presupposed to be like that, I choose a stewy sauce!

  • Hen inventory – So as to add depth to the sauce. If you happen to simply use water, you’ll discover the sauce a bit bland.

    For comfort, I usually use store-bought however selfmade hen inventory would take this to a different stage. Additionally, vegetable inventory can be substitute.

  • Coriander / cilantro – A contemporary garnish. Really helpful, however not a deal-breaker when you’re a type of individuals who can’t stand coriander. Or if the worth of coriander has sky-rocketed to dizzying ranges recently, because it has right here in Sydney because of excessive climate situations! 😭

Preserved lemon for Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Preserved lemon – Provides tagines a contact of authenticity!
  • Preserved lemon – An ingredient utilized in Moroccan and a few Indian cooking that’s generally utilized in tagines. By chance omitted from the components picture above, so I’m giving it air time with a giant picture! 😂

    Preserved lemon is lemon merely pickled in salt. The salt mellows the sharpness of the lemon juice and transforms the flavour remarkably, intensifying the earthiness of the lemon flavour within the zest.

    Lately it’s pretty simple to search out at giant grocery shops in Australia (Coles, Woolies, Harris Farms) however don’t fret when you can’t discover it. Tagine remains to be price making with out it!

How one can use preserved lemon: We solely use the rind as that is the place all of the flavour is! Take a chunk out of the jar and scrape off the pith and pulp utilizing a teaspoon (it’s extraordinarily salty and likewise bitter). Rinse the rind totally underneath faucet water to take away extra salt then finely mince it with a knife.

How one can make Hen Tagine

Brown the hen pores and skin till golden, then braise within the spice-infused sauce. Easy!

How to make Moroccan Chicken Tagine
  1. Plump up apricots – Cowl the dried apricots with boiling water then go away for half-hour to plump up.

  2. Brown hen – Season the hen with salt and pepper and brown the pores and skin very well in a pan. This takes 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t shortcut this step! The browned pores and skin provides a stack of flavour to the hen, plus it leaves behind golden bits caught on the pan (known as “fond”) which imparts invaluable flavour to the sauce.

    As soon as the pores and skin aspect is properly browned, sear the opposite aspect for simply 1 minute then take away. The hen gained’t be cooked via at this stage. We are going to end cooking it within the sauce.

  3. Sauté aromatics and spices – Sauté the onion and garlic, then cook dinner off the spices briefly. Sautéing spices earlier than including liquids is an effective tip for releasing extra flavour from of spices. It actually does for tagines!

  4. Tagine sauce – Add the chickpeas, tomato, preserved lemon, inventory and cinnamon stick. Stir, then deliver it to a simmer.

  5. High with hen – Simply place the hen on prime, pores and skin aspect up. Will probably be partially submerged but it surely the flesh ought to principally be underneath the liquid whereas the pores and skin principally sits above the liquid.

  6. Simmer lined 5 minutes – Alter the warmth as wanted so it’s simmering gently. Not too quickly else the bottom of the pot will scorch.

  7. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes – Take away the lid then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or till the interior temperature of the hen is 70°C/158°F (which can be barely lower than 20 minutes). Don’t fear about going above this temperature as bone-in hen thighs are a really juicy minimize so that they’re very forgiving.

  8. Serving! Tagine is historically served over couscous. I’ve popped slightly extra info under with some couscous flavouring choices in addition to some options for different carb-y companions.

Close up of Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Close up of cut piece of Moroccan Chicken Tagine served on couscous

What to serve with Hen Tagine


Tagine is often served over couscous. Plain couscous is ok although it’s very nice with slightly sprinkle of dried fruit and/or nuts littered all through, or a spritz of contemporary lemon. You’ll discover numerous flavouring choices within the couscous recipe.

Different starchy car choices

Rice (white, brown, basmati), pearl couscous (the enormous ones), quinoa and another small-grain starchy issues appropriate for sauce-soaking make good options. Even mashed potato or mashed cauliflower can be nice. Simply one thing to slop up all that scrumptious sauce!

If you happen to’re trying the low carb factor, then Cauliflower Rice will work nicely too. Really, I feel the slight nutty flavour from roasting the cauliflower rice will go actually properly with Hen Tagine!

Facet Salad

I feel a lightweight, easy aspect salad is good to pair with spice-infused dishes like Hen Tagine. Some ideas:

If you happen to’re desirous to make extra of an influence, attempt one in all these:

Or – discover your personal excellent aspect salad right here. 🥬

Like to know what you assume when you do this! – Nagi x

Watch tips on how to make it

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Close up photo of Moroccan Chicken Tagine, fresh off the stove

Hen Tagine


Faucet or hover to scale

Recipe video above. A well-balanced spice mix is the key to an awesome hen tagine! Greatest made with bone-in hen thighs, which keep juicy for the required sauce simmering time. Drumsticks work nicely too. Some variations are made with olives, others use dried fruit, and a few even use each. I’ve opted for fruit as a result of it is one of many few dishes I like fruit with meat! See notice 7 for the olive choice (it is delish too). Notice: Crushed tomato is not usually utilized in conventional tagines however I like the way it thickens the sauce so it clings to the couscous higher.


Ras el hanout spice mix (Notice 4):

Various add in choices


  • Plump apricots – Soak the dried apricots in a bowl of boiling water for half-hour, then drain (this plumps them up).

  • Season hen – Sprinkle either side of the hen with the salt.

  • Brown hen – Warmth oil the oil in a big, deep skillet or pot (Notice 5) over excessive warmth. Place hen within the skillet pores and skin aspect down and cook dinner for 8 to 10 minutes till deep golden. Flip and cook dinner the flesh aspect for 1 minute then take away to a plate.

  • Sauté aromatics & spices – Discard all however 2 tablespoons of fats within the skllet. Cut back warmth to medium. Add onions and cook dinner for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook dinner for 1 minute. Add the Ras el hanout and stir for 30 seconds.

  • Tagine sauce – Add the cinnamon stick, tomato, chickpeas, plumped apricots, inventory and preserved lemon, then stir. Place the hen on prime, pores and skin aspect up.

  • Simmer lined 5 minutes – Carry the liquid to a simmer then cowl with a lid (Notice 6). Prepare dinner for five minutes, adjusting the warmth as wanted so the liquid is simmering (however not too quickly else base might catch).

  • Simmer uncovered 20 minutes – Take away lid then cook dinner for an additional 20 minutes or till the interior temperature of the hen is no less than 70°C/158°F (Notice 7).

  • Serve – Take away from range and relaxation for five minutes. Serve over couscous (Notice 8), sprinkled with contemporary coriander.

Recipe Notes:

1. Greatest hen minimize for tagine is bone-in, skin-on thighs because it yields the juiciest end result. Nevertheless, drumsticks may even work (use 10). For boneless thighs, sear for a few minutes on either side, take away, then make the sauce per recipe and simply add the hen again into the sauce for the final 5 minutes. For breast, I feel one of the simplest ways can be to totally cook dinner it via within the pan, make the sauce per recipe, then minimize the hen into thick slices and toss it via the sauce simply earlier than serving.
2. Preserved lemon – An ingredient utilized in Moroccan and Indian cooking, that is lemon that’s pickled in salt. The sharpness of lemon juices is mellowed and the earthiness of lemon flavour within the zest is intensified. Provides a contact of authenticity to tagines however don’t fret when you can’t discover it, tagine remains to be price making with out it. Obtainable at most giant grocery shops in Australia.
TO PREPARE: We solely use the rind as that is the place all of the flavour is! Take a chunk out of the jar and scrape off the pith and pulp utilizing a teaspoon. Rinse the rind totally underneath faucet water to take away extra salt then finely mince it with a knife.
3. Spices – You gained’t be left missing in case you are lacking a spice (perhaps even two). Make up for it by dialling up those you could have.
4. Cooking vessel – When you’ve got an precise tagine, kudos to you! I take advantage of my 30cm / 12″ vast shallow forged iron casserole dish. Any giant deep skillet or massive pot will work wonderful. If it has a lid, even higher. If not, don’t fear – simply cowl with a baking tray or foil for the lined simmering step.
5. Inner temp – Hen thighs are a pleasant juicy minimize so you’ll be able to cook dinner it nicely over the goal inside temp – at the same time as excessive as 85°C/185°F – and it’s nonetheless juicy. (Can’t say the identical for breast!).
6. Olive choice – Skip the dried apricots, use 1 cup of kalamata olives, pitted, or inexperienced olives. No have to plump them up! Add in with the tomato.
My private desire is to not use each dried fruit and olives (I simply don’t actually benefit from the mixture, it’s an excessive amount of competing flavours). Be at liberty to make use of each collectively when you choose!
7. Nuts – Slivered almonds, frivolously toasted till golden in a dry skillet, go actually properly in tagines.
8. Couscous – I take advantage of this recipe of mine. Additionally terrific with rice.

Vitamin Info:

Energy: 198cal (10%)Carbohydrates: 32g (11%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fats: 6g (9%)Saturated Fats: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fats: 1gMonounsaturated Fats: 3gTrans Fats: 1gLdl cholesterol: 1mgSodium: 995mg (43%)Potassium: 686mg (20%)Fiber: 7g (29%)Sugar: 16g (18%)Vitamin A: 947IU (19%)Vitamin C: 8mg (10%)Calcium: 81mg (8%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

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