Chicken Tagine

chicken tagineThere is nothing like walking in the door after a long day at work, (or a session at the gym or playing outside with the kids) to breathe in and catch the aromas of cumin, cinnamon, squash, onions and various other goodness – all ready for you to plate up and devour.  Prep a little couscous on the stove-top to help catch the juices of the chicken and veggies that have been cooking all day together, and you’re set.  

In Moroccan culture, a tagine is a slow-cooked or braised stew with meat and vegetables.  It is named after the type of ware used to cook the meal, called a tajine pot.   I tasted my first tagine years ago with Moroccan friends who would stew meatballs, lemons, tomatoes, eggs and onions on the stove top in a large frying pan on super low heat, for hours.  tajinesThe results were unbelievable.  We would then sit cross-legged around a table on the floor, and dig into this enormous pot of food, with bits of pita bread as forks.   Everyone kept to their little corner of the pot and a delicious meal was shared. 

Mr. Cheese and I make a chicken tagine in the slow-cooker every couple of months when we’re craving sheer comfort food.  The complex flavors are sweet, smoky and rich all at once.  I rarely use exactly the same measurements of spices or vegetables, as I cook depending on how I feel that day.  I do try to incorporate vegetables that are in season at the time, since they are at their most delicious, and I always leave out the olives since Mr. Cheese detests them.  There are no rules as to what veggies you put into this, just whatever suits your family’s tastes.  Enjoy!

Chicken Tagine

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small onion, large dice
  • 1 tomato, small dice
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pepper
  • 1 package couscous (we use this kind!)

How to Make It!

prepIn the crock pot, put the squash, onion, tomato, spinach, garlic, cilantro and broth and stir together gently, to combine.  In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil and spices, then rub all over the chicken breasts.  Set the chicken on top of the vegetables in the crock pot, set the lid on, turn it on low and walk away.  Let cook for 6-8 hours, all the while do not lift the lid – no matter how tempted you are!  The matter of keeping heat and moisture in the crockpot is pretty important with this type of cooking. 

About 20 minutes prior to when you are ready to serve, prepare couscous according to package instructions and turn off the slow cooker.  Allow the tagine to sit for 10-15 minutes prior to serving.  Serves 4  

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About tossingtheswissaround

I have been obsessed with food since I can remember. I grew up watching the Frugal Gourmet and Julia Childs in black and white repeats on TV. I made an elementary version of veal parmesan when I was all of 8 years old and even concocted a homemade version of vomit to drizzle along the hallway and oh-so-carefully in the bathroom so I could get of school whenever I wanted. Dad never caught on but I eventually came clean about that vomit recipe. About two years ago. My skills have greatly improved and my obsession has only deepened as the years go by. In the mornings, I ask my co-workers what’s for lunch, what they ate last night and what is on the menu tonight. I groan when I eat almost anything I like because I can barely contain my excitement. Because, well, because it’s food! I was technically trained and once worked as a formal chef but physically that takes its toll so I joined the much less strenuous, albeit entertaining, world of HR. Food is still at the forefront of my mind as I continue to cook and love all things food. Enjoy!
This entry was posted in chicken, food, herbs & spices, Home, international cuisine, lemons, morrocan cuisine, recipes, slow cooker, stew, Vegetables and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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