Recipe: Mediterranean Chicken Tagine and Couscous

I haven’t posted a recipe in a while. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember to take a picture of this dish as we had guests over and the chicken disappeared instantly. I knew I wanted something to go with couscous, and I love braised chicken dishes, so I thought I’d figure something out and modelled this on a Moroccan tagine, without the olives because nobody but me likes olives. Here’s what I came up with. I’m cutting the recipe down to a family-sized dish:

Mediterranean Chicken Tagine

Oven: 350F

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • about 1 t. minced ginger
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • about 8 dried apricots, chopped (or not)
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 t. dried ground coriander
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. capers
  • 1/2 c. apple juice (or water)
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 lemon, halved and thinly sliced

Have ready a 9 x 11 inch casserole. In a nonstick skillet over high heat, brown the skin side of the chicken thighs. While they’re browning, season the undersides with salt and pepper. Arrange skin side up in the casserole. Tip out and discard the fat from the pan. Add the butter and onion, garlic and ginger and put pan over medium heat. Stir briefly until it’s all hot and then add the spices to fry and become aromatic. Add the raisins, apricots and capers. Add the apple juice, white wine and honey, and stir until it’s all heated through. Pour over the chicken. Tuck the lemon slices in between the pieces of chicken. Cover with foil and put in the oven for about 1 hour. Check to make sure it’s not too dry, add some water if it looks dry. Remove the foil and let brown for another 20 minutes or so. If you want to do this earlier and bake it longer in a slower oven, 300F for 2 hours would work well. Because you’ve browned the chicken skin you’ve accelerated the baking and also rendered quite a lot of the fat out. The chicken gets very tender and flavourful and the sauce is great stirred into the couscous.

Couscous with Pine Nuts

  • 2 c. water
  • 1 1/3 c. couscous
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 handful chopped flatleaf parsley
  • salt and pepper

Boil the water in a medium saucepan. When it boils, add the couscous, turn off the heat and cover. Let it steam. Meanwhile, brown the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until they have brown spots and you can hear them sizzling a bit. When the couscous has absorbed all the water (about 5-10 minutes) fluff it up and add the other ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.

This looks great in a large shallow serving dish with the chicken on top of the couscous, but I can’t prove it because I didn’t take a picture. Sorry!

A good side for this is chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, with some yogurt and chopped mint leaves.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Recipe: Mediterranean Chicken Tagine and Couscous

  1. This sounds good. It’s similar to a recipe I have with dates but no apricots. My husband can’t eat dates, so I like this recipe better :).