Moroccan Chicken Tagine.
Moroccan food and the flavours of North Africa are amongst my favourite cuisines and a regular dinner in our house is a chicken tagine.
Morocco is a fairly diverse country with centuries old influences from the Arabs, Berbers, Moors and many other Mediterranean cultures. Herbs, spices and vegetables are an essential part of Moroccan cooking, and, when you see the women cooking it looks like fairly simple cuisine. Using local ingredients and the treasure trove of those herbs and spices that are apart of the countries culinary identity, produces the most delicious and elaborate looking dishes.
Saffron, mint, coriander, cinnamon and parsley – some of the herbs and spices that add flavour to Moroccan food. Preserved lemons, oranges, dates and olives are also essential ingredients in many dishes.
Visiting Morocco is a fantastic feast of tastes, colours and aromas. Market stalls are piled high with large bunches of herbs and fruits and move into the souks and you’ll find small shops with colourful displays of jars of preserved fruits and vegetables including lemon, oranges and peppers. There’s heady smells from the large conical shaped displays of brightly coloured spices – cumin, coriander, paprika and turmeric along with large bowls of olives and baskets of vegetables. These ingredients all bring vibrancy and colour to Moroccan food and many are included in this recipe for chicken tagine.
If you don’t have a tagine – the traditional Moroccan conical shaped dish, it will cook perfectly well in a lidded oven shaped casserole.
I like to use chicken thighs with bone in and of course the skin on as it makes the dish more flavoursome. The recipe will also work well with fish.
I usually serve this with couscous flavoured with mint, parsley and coriander but it will be equally good with rice, potatoes or salad.