Monday, January 22, 2007

Chermoula Chicken Tagine

Andrew from Spittoon Extra is hosting the inaugural Waiter There's Something in My...and the something turned out to be Stew.

Just because it's summer it doesn't mean that we can't enjoy stews - I just didn't really want to make something overly heavy or stodgy. So I took my cue from warmer climes elsewhere in the world and conjured up a Chicken Tagine. With a mix of vegetables and the heady aroma of Chermoula this stew can be whipped up in less than an hour.

chicken tagine

Chermoula Chicken Tagine

4 chicken thighs, bone in and skin left on
1 cup Chermoula
1 red onion, roughly diced
1 large zucchini, cut into large cubes
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal
1 quarter preserved lemon, flesh removed, skin finely sliced
4 fresh dates, pitted and sliced into quarters
handful toasted blanched almonds, for serving

Place the chicken thighs in a bowl and smother completely with chermoula - ensure both sides have been coated with the paste. Let this sit while you prepare the vegetables.

The vegetables given are only a guide - add and subtract to your liking.
It's important that you cut each vegetable so they will take the same time to cook - soft vegetables can be cut into larger pieces than hard vegetables.

Heat a tablespoon of oil with a tablespoon of butter in an ovenproof pan or if you have it a tagine. When the butter has melted and sizzling add the chicken thighs - be careful to remove the excess chermoula as we don't want it to burn, we'll be using the remaining chermoula later on. It's important to brown both sides of the chicken. When done remove from the pan and place on a plate.

Add the onions and let these sauté and soften for a few minutes before adding the carrots. Toss these well before adding the sweet potato and finally the zucchini. Cook for a couple of minutes before returning the chicken to the pan.

Add about a cup of hot water to the chermoula and pour this into the pan. Then add the sliced lemon rind and dates - stirring them into the mixture.

Place the lid on and allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.

Before serving, mix through a handful of toasted blanched almonds.

chicken tagine

A perfect accompaniment is plain Couscous.

Tagged with


  1. Thanks for the entry - and a chance to see your brand new look! Very impressive.

  2. Haalo,

    It's great to see a delicious recipe like this with chicken thighs - I have too many recipes that call for chicken breasts.

    What an interesting mix of flavors you have here!

  3. Love the look of your dish - all those golden hues. Makes me want to have a stew, even though the mercury is rising here!

  4. That looks absolutely delicious Haalo! Luckily, I am already stuffing my face otherwise I'm sure I'd be heading to the snack box in the tea room straight away!

    I opted to wait for a cooler day before I got around to making a stew for this event. Luckily, we had one the weekend before :)

  5. Thanks Andrew - look forward to the roundup!

    Thanks Patricia - I tend to prefer chicken thighs as they have a lot more flavour than the breast and stay juicy rather than dry out. The flavour is quite refreshing.

    Thanks Y - it's the turmeric in the chermoula that enhances those golden shades. When it's really hot, just marinade the chicken in the chermoula and then grill it, serve with a salad, perfect!

    Thanks Ilingc - i was wondering if the temperature was ever going to come down again!

  6. Gorgeous entry! To say that this looks sensational would be a bit of an understatement!

  7. Haalo, this looks delicious. I adore Moroccan food but I often avoid making tagines myself because they take a long time. It is fantastic this can be made in under an hour and I certainly will try it!

    btw, I can't tell - is that a real tagine dish or a casserole dish that looks very similar?

  8. Wow, that looks great! I also made a chicken tagine for this event. But I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

  9. Thanks Ellie - i think it tastes even better than it looks

    Thanks Ros - that is just an individual serving dish that I plated it out on. The ingredient that takes the time is the chicken and the smaller their size the shorter the cooking time.

    Paz - you can this for your main and the mousse for dessert!

    Thanks Rachel - i've done this with boneless skinless thigh pieces as well - makes it a little quicker too.

  10. what perfect timing! Our recently preserved lemons are just ready to go! This looks fabulous and just the thing for this weekend. I love the idea of the chermoula... I hope that we can get some decent coriander leaf. (I saw some yesterday at the market that looked absolutely dismal)

    Do you make your own ras el hanout, or do you buy it premixed?


  11. Hi Elizabeth - I actually did a post a while back on ras el hanout. It's a difficult thing to reproduce as it's always just been a "shop blend" and quite a few of the spices are illegal. For this I just used a good quality blend that uses a large variety of spices.


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