Yep, that's me. On a camel.

Ah Tagines. The word is synonymous with the earthenware cooking pot, as well as the yummy Moroccan dish. Christina and I visited Morocco a few years ago, and I purchased one from the source in a pottery shop in Fez. And you’re asking: was the chicken tagine in Morocco as good as it is here, at say Cafe Mogador in NYC? Um, well, let’s just put it this way: before we went to lunch we walked through a market with raw meat hanging out with its fly friends, chickens roaming around, and several people, who I am sure did not use sanitizer prior to preparing my food. Killed it for me.

Imagine that guy fixing your chicken tagine. After he's finished milking his donkey. Nuff said.

One of the benefits of using a tagine is that is is very similar to a slow cooker, in that it re-circulates the air inside, making the chicken tender and retain much of its juices. A couple things to note: a decorative tagine, which is usually super-glossy and painted, is not the tagine you want to use for cooking. Pay attention, because many times there are serving tagines and cooking tagines. Serving tagines aren’t made to go into the oven. If you can’t get the real thing, from Morocco, try All-Clad or Le Creuset. Both great brands.

Using a tagine, I find, is super easy. You simply brown your meat and onions with a few spices on the stovetop, and finish cooking the meat in the tagine with some sort of liquid which gives the steam effect. Below is a simple recipe to use with your tagine.

Chicken Tifya

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken parts (thighs and legs work well)
  • 2 lbs onions, sliced
  • 2 cups dried cherries
  • 1 can chickpeas/garbanzos (1 1/2  cups)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • olive oil
  1. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown on stovetop. Remove chicken from the pan.
  2. Brown the onions in olive oil on the stovetop. Add the ginger, turmeric, pepper, cinnamon and salt. Add in garbanzo beans, cherries, honey and chicken broth.
  3. Transfer the chicken to the tagine and pour the onion mixture on top of it.
  4. Cook in a 450 degree oven until tender, about an hour. Rotate chicken periodically. Serve with couscous.

~Dana

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