I am a creature of habit. I’ve been posting recipes that were inspired by things I’ve eaten at Nook Bistro for years, and I find myself still going there and getting the same thing every time. I love their butternut squash stew, but don’t love that I can’t make a knock-off of it at home year-round with butternut squash really being a fall/winter squash. Then, I had chicken tagine for the first time at a work tasting with a catering company that was vying for new business a few years ago. It had a somewhat similar flavor profile to the butternut squash stew, but the ingredients would allow me to make it year-round I absolutely fell in love with it (and the caterer!), and have tried a number of different chicken tagine recipes trying to mimic what I had and FINALLY found one. I’m so happy to finally be sharing it!
Here is the recipe as adapted from A Hint of Honey:
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
- 1 T all-purpose flour
- 2 T tomato paste
- 2 T honey
- 4 t ras el hanout
- 1 t turmeric
- 1 t ground cumin
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 1 t ground coriander
- up to 1 t cayenne pepper (skip this altogether if you don’t like it spicy!)
- 1 C low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 6 oz. dried apricots, diced
- 3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped for serving (frankly, this is more for aesthetics)
- cous cous, for serving
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the flour, tomato paste, honey, and spices and cook for another minute.
- Add the chicken stock and tomatoes and cook for several minutes, making sure to get out any lumps of flour. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Combine the tomato/spice mixture with the chickpeas, apricots, chicken thighs, and carrots in a large slower cooker, mixing well.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until the meat shreds easily with a fork. Serve over cous cous or rice, topped with fresh cilantro.
Ras el hanout can be purchased online, but I’m not sure where to find it in stores. You can make it from scratch using this recipe, and it’ll yield enough to make this tagine a few times. Make sure to store it in a glass container, because it’ll make your plastic tupperware smell like the mixture forEVER. I use an inexpensive spice jar one from Crate and Barrel (thanks Joyce!!), but a small Pyrex could work too!
This stew is great the day you make it, but Kevin and I both think it tastes better the next day. I’ve probably made this five or six times in the last year and it never lets us down.
It also freezes well, and makes a HUGE amount. Kevin and I use two crockpots to make this one recipe (he has an old school Rival Crock-Pot, and I have a 6-quart Crock-Pot). If you have anything under an 8.5-quart, you may want to finish step 3 and then divide your recipe in half, freezing the half you’re not cooking today.