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Easy Chicken Tajine (Tagine) Recipe - Simple!

Updated on October 30, 2014
A Les Trois Chenes version of Chicken Tajine
A Les Trois Chenes version of Chicken Tajine | Source

Exotic Tagine Dishes

Want a recipe that's quick to prepare, easy and super-tasty? Then a chicken tajine recipe is the answer.

At our Bed and Breakfast in Limousin, South West France, we serve tajines from time to time. They are moist, succulent, fragrant and exotic one pot dishes, but most importantly, they are reliable and easy. Not only that, they are liked by most people and they're generally are a firm favourite with our guests.

There have been strong links between France and North Africa for a very long time and even here in Limousin, we feel the influence of North African culinary heritage through the restaurants and the supermarkets. The French, ever proud of their own traditional cuisine, do enjoy the delights of tajines (tagines) and couscous.

Remember, you can find more of our recipes in my work-in-progress Les Trois Chenes Cookbook

How Good Are Chicken Tajines?

Cast your vote for Chicken Tajine Recipe
Do you need to buy a tajine pot?
Do you need to buy a tajine pot? | Source

What is a Tagine Pot?

Do you Need a Special Tajine pot to cook a tajine?

The spicy meat dishes called 'tajines' derive their names from the special pot used to cook them. The original Tajine was a heavy, unglazed earthenware pot used by North African nomads to cook meat and vegetables over a charcoal fire. Now you can buy a range of different tajines, glazed, decorative, cast iron and even electric. Having said this, although the shape is exotic, when I carried out a trial using a glazed tajine and a casserole dish to cook the same food in the oven, there was no difference. So, no, you don't need a tajine - but if you have one they are very nice to use and look wonderful on the dinner table!

Always read the instructions for your pot before use as they vary widely in specification. For more information What is a Tajine Pot?

You can use a wide range of vegetables and fruits.
You can use a wide range of vegetables and fruits. | Source

Chicken Tagine Ingredients

Tajines are designed to cook meats with fruit and vegetables slowly until even second grade meats are tender and just fall away from the bone.

In Morocco and Tunisia they often use lamb or chicken, but you can use other meats or cook vegetarian meals in your tajine - every tajine recipe you see will be different. what all the recipes have in common is that they include a range of spices (even the spices differ from recipe to recipe) and often lemon and olives. Don't worry if you don't have all the ingredients or spices - mix and match - use what you do have.

For this dish, I used chicken and the vegetables that I had in the store cupboard. Carrots are often used and you can also add dried and fresh fruits.

My Ingredients

  • Chicken joints - the photographs show quantities for 5 chicken pieces.
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Courgette
  • Red and green peppers
  • Carrots
  • Lemons
  • Olives
  • A little cooking oil to brown the chicken and a cup of water or stock

Spices (about 2 teaspoons of each!)

  • Black pepper corns crushed (teaspoon)
  • Ground ginger but I use fresh ginger finely cubed or grated if I can (about a dessert spoon)
  • Ground cumin (about a dessert spoon)
  • Turmeric (heaped teaspoon)
  • Coriander seeds crushed (about a dessert spoon) (Perhaps ground coriander would be better but I didn't have any at the time; all my cooking is real cooking - not staged for photos and articles!)
  • Cinnamon sticks, or ground cinnamon (teaspoon)

Spices for the chicken tajine

Its the spices that make a tajine.
Its the spices that make a tajine. | Source
Place the browned chicken and other ingredients into the Tajine.
Place the browned chicken and other ingredients into the Tajine. | Source


After that the method couldn't be easier.

  • Brown the chicken in a frying pan or in your tajine (remember to read the instructions to check that your tajine can withstand a high heat on the hob). This step is optional and probably not very authentic!
  • Add the spices, except the cinnamon bark if you are using it, to the chicken and cook for a few minutes.
  • Slice all the vegetables and then put the chicken, spices and the vegetables into the tajine.
  • Put in the sliced lemon, olives and cinnamon stick
  • Add water or stock, a good cup should do
  • Put onto a low heat on the hob or in the oven and cook slowly for 2 or more hours.

You shouldn't really check a tajine, but for the first time perhaps it is best to have a look and see that it is not too dry. In the picture of mine below, the dish was a little overcooked because I put it into the oven to reheat the following day and forgot about it!! Please don't do that. But it was still delicious and the food was not burnt. Now that is what I call a forgiving dish!

The final dish.
The final dish. | Source

To Serve

The beauty of a tajine is that you can take it from the kitchen and put it onto the dinner table to serve it. (Remember to use something to protect the table!). Just be careful not to burn your guests' faces with steam when you lift off the lid. Couscous or Moroccan breads go well with a tajine and are both easy to make. Eh Voila!

This is a short hub because this recipe is so easy and straight forward that there isn't much else to say - I'll keep the fascinating history of Moroccan cooking for another day I think. Enjoy!

More easy one pot recipes

Why make life more difficult than it already is? Shirley Conran said "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom" and she has a point. I watch TV chefs coating egg yolks with breadcrumbs and frying them one by one and I think - get real! We have jobs and families and a life! On the other hand I love 'real' food and cook from scratch every night, so what I look out for are recipes that work - but don't create work. Here are a couple of my one pot recipes.

One pot fish dish Fish with potatoes and vegetable in season or of your choice

Chicory or Endive Recipe With Cheesy Sauce This is a great recipe for endive (chicons, chicory). You can use ham or smoked salmon which you wrap around chicons, smother in cheese sauce and bake in the oven. This recipe doesn't include potatoes, but just stick a few in the oven and gorgeous baked potatoes will come out with the endives.

It sometimes helps to watch a video

In this video you'll see the mix of herbs and watch the chicken, potato and olive tajine being made and served in a beautifully decorated tajine.

Chicken Tajine Recipe with potatoes and olives (English and French titles)

Do you have any thoughts on chicken tagines or tajine recipes?

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    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Thanks for you message, Ivona. I'm always sceptical when it comes to expensive equipment and tools. Sometimes you have to invest, and sometimes it's a waste of money. Except, if you like tajine these special pots are gorgeous. I don't have one but I covet them!

    • Ivona Poyntz profile image

      Ivona Poyntz 5 years ago from UK

      I've always wondered if there was a difference in taste depending on the pot used: glad to know there isn't, (as I don't own a tagine), but yea, they look great on the dinner table

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 6 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Jasmine, many thanks for pointing out the 'spoon' problem. It is teaspoons - heaped I should think. We don't make our dishes too hot because my son has a delicate mouth. Do let me know how it works out for you.

    • profile image

      Jasmine Keenan 6 years ago

      In your recipe is it teaspoons or tablespoons of spices?

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 7 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Thanks 'Tim'. Does save on washing up!

    • Simple Tim profile image

      Simple Tim 7 years ago

      Hmm delicious! this is one meal which looks good being cooked and served especially since you can serve the dish in the same pot it was cooked in:)