Chicken & Chickpea Tagine

November/December 1996

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (26 votes)

A tagine is a traditional Moroccan stew, traditionally prepared and served in a vessel called a tagine.

"This is an excellent recipe for company when you want to present something interesting, but not too exotic or extremely spicy. Nice flavors. I did add some chipotle pepper powder because I thought it would blend nicely, which it did. I...
Chicken & Chickpea Tagine

Makes: 8 servings, about 1 3/4 cup each

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Total Time:


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, (about 3 pounds), skin and visible fat removed
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, (about 3), peeled and diced
  • 2 14-ounce cans recipe-ready tomatoes, 1 drained
  • 2 14-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted prunes
  • Harissa, (North African hot pepper paste) to taste


  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pot and brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  2. Wipe any fat from the pot. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. If necessary, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to prevent scorching. Add cumin, saffron and cinnamon sticks; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in sweet potatoes, tomatoes, chickpeas, orange juice and honey; bring to a simmer.
  3. Return the chicken pieces to the pot, pressing them down into the vegetables. Return to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
  4. Add prunes and continue to simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 10 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper and harissa to taste.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3; cover and refrigerate up to 3 days in advance or freeze for up to 1 month.
  • Ingredient note: Harissa, a fiery Tunisian chile paste, is available at specialty-food stores or at Harissa in a tube will be much hotter than that in a jar. You can substitute Chinese or Thai chili-garlic sauce for it.


Per serving: 365 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 50 mg cholesterol; 56 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 7 g fiber; 258 mg sodium; 693 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (215% daily value),Vitamin C (62% dv), Potassium (20% dv), Iron (17% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 1/2 fruit, 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 1/2 vegetable

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