A tagine is a clay cooking pot with a conical lid that gives this Moroccan dish its name. Tagines or Tajines can be seen cooking everywhere from roadside cafés to high-end restaurants and in every home. You will find many many versions of tagines, from vegetarian, chicken, lamb to other exotic meats. They are usually served with bread.
Vegetables like carrotshardy vegetables like turnips
4 or 5Dried Figs or Apricots
8chicken thighsabout 4 pounds I prefer the boneless
Salt and ground black pepper
1large onionhalved and cut into big slices
2large or 3 medium carrotspeeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/2cupgreen olivespitted and halved
2tablespoonschopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Combine the spices in a small bowl and set aside. Zest the lemon, combine 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest with 1 minced garlic clove; set aside.
Season both sides of chicken pieces with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or pan over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke.
Brown the chicken pieces skin side down in single layer until deep golden, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces over and brown the other side, about 4 minutes or so. Transfer the chicken to a large plate; when cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and discard (skip if using boneless and skinless pieces).
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have browned at the edges but still retain their shape, 5 to 7 minutes (add a few tablespoons of water now and then if the pan gets too dark). Add the remaining minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spices and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
Stir in the broth, honey, remaining lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Add the chicken (with any accumulated juices) back in, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the carrots, turnips, some apricots, figs, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes more. You can skip the chicken to make a vegetarian tagine.
Stir in the olives, lemon zest-garlic mixture, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Serve with couscous.
You don't need a tajine pan, any dutch oven or deep pan will do. While this recipe calls for chicken, you can also make a vegan version by omitting the meat and adding extra hardy vegetables like turnips and carrots if you wish. Don't miss the honey and figs, it add sweetness to the dish.