Sunday, 14 December 2014

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Prunes and Almond

My French lady boss will be leaving Singapore for a new job assignment in Morocco.  I am totally clueless about Morocco until someone mentioned Hollywood movie Casablanca. Oh,  Casablanca is in Morocco! Well, that's all I know about this exotic country.  My boss is so nice that she wants to give us a feel of Moroccan.  So, she invited us to her house one day,  and prepared famous Morocco chicken tagine for lunch.  Served together with couscous, this plate of spiced chicken just hit the spot. We are so impressed as if we were under the Moroccan sun!

Chicken tagine is so delicious and fragrant with preserved lemon, prunes and spices. It's healthier, and tastes fresher than curry chicken as no coconut milk or cream added.  I decided immediately after the meal that I wanted to try to recreate the dish at home.

A tagine is a special North African clay pot  with a large dome-shaped lid. This is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom.  Without a tagine at home, I used my favourite Dutch oven to make this wonderful dish.

My family is very happy with chicken tagine, and this is the second time I cooked this dish at home. I replaced preserved lemon with preserved fruit mix and some lemon peel. It feel so good when I bring the tagine to the table, lift off the lid.  Everyone takes a deep and satisfied breath. Another wonderful exotic dish that I am ready to share with you.


  • One whole chicken or 1 kg chicken parts
  • 2 large onions, halved and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 -2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, sliced
  • grated lemon peel from one medium lemon
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice from one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons Moroccan spice
  • 4-5 preserved pitted prunes, sliced
  • ⅓ cup dried mixed fruits
  • ⅓ cup almond slices, roasted
  • olive oil for frying

  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Trim away excess fat and skin. Cut whole chicken into pieces and rub all the pieces with salt, pepper, and Moroccan spice. Let stand for half to one hour.
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken, and saute until the chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Add 1 1/4 cup of water, prunes, mixed fruits, almond slices, tomatoes, carrot and lemon peel to the Dutch oven. Stir to combine. Bring it to a boil, the adjust heat to low.
  4. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves , serve warm. 
Recipe adapted here and here.

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