Tagine [T U J E E N] is both the word for the glazed earthenware dish, as a main course as well as the clay pot used in Morocco and several countries in Africa, for making stews. Tagine consists of two parts: Base unit which is flat and a dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. Tajines can be cooked in a conventional oven or on a stove top.
Moroccan tajine dishes are slow-cooked savory stews, typically made with meat, chicken or fish together with vegetables or fruit.Spices, nuts, and dried fruits are also used. Common spices include ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron. Paprika and chili are used in vegetable tajine. The sweet and sour combination is common in tajine dishes like lamb with dates and spices. Tajines are served with couscous or bread. Because the domed or cone-shaped lid of the tajine pot traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook meats and vegetables.
Today I struggled with ideas of what to make for supper, I knew I was tired of the usual but couldn’t figure what foods were appealing to me. I ended up buying ingredients for a stir fry but when I came home at 4 I was hit with the realisation that I was liss instead for tagine! So a chicken tagine it was! I quickly scoured the net and then put together my own tagine recipe.
Verdict: definitely a keeper and one I’m adding to my books.
MOROCCAN CHICKEN TAGINE WITH APRICOTS & ALMONDS SERVED WITH CORIANDER COUSCOUS.
3 chicken breast cleaned and cut into pieces
Olive or coconut oil
1 onion sliced
3 tomatoes chopped
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp powdered ginger
3/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Arad
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
Saffron soaked in water
A few apricots
A handful of blanched almonds
In a dish add the chicken, then add the paprika, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, Arad, black pepper, salt and the coriander powder. Mix well and set aside.
Sauté the onion in the oil till translucent. Add in the garlic. Cook. Add in the spiced chicken and braise. Once braised throw in the chopped tomato and saffron as well as the almonds and apricots. Close the tagine and cook on low till done. Top with chopped coriander before serving.
For the couscous:
Into a bowl add in as much couscous as needed. Top with the same amount of boiling water, using a fork fluff till all the water is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper, olive oil and some lemon juice ( I used the flavored olive oil which my olives came in ) Finely chop coriander and parsley, add in and toss well.