In the heart of North African kitchens, a cooking tradition has woven its way into homes and hearts: the aromatic and communal experience of preparing and sharing a tagine. And if there’s one thing that exemplifies the spirit of family meals, it’s this recipe for Spiced Chicken and Veg Tagine. Picture this – a savoury blend of tender chicken, vibrant vegetables and fragrant spices, all cooked to perfection. With a hint of exotic charm and a whole lot of comfort, this dish invites your loved ones to gather around the table for a meal that speaks to the soul.
What is a tagine?
A tagine is a traditional North African cooking vessel that is used to prepare a variety of dishes, both savoury and sweet. It is typically made of clay or ceramic and features a distinctive cone-shaped lid that helps to circulate and condense steam, allowing the food to cook slowly and evenly.
The term “tagine” also describes the flavourful dishes that are prepared in it. These dishes often consist of a combination of ingredients such as meat (such as lamb, chicken or beef), vegetables, fruits and a blend of aromatic spices. Tagines are known for their rich and complex flavours, developed through the slow cooking process that allows the ingredients to meld together harmoniously.
Where do tagines come from?
Tagine cooking is popular in North African countries like Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. The method of cooking in a tagine is well-suited for creating tender and succulent dishes with a balance of flavours. The tagine vessel itself also adds to the presentation, making it an attractive centerpiece when served at the table.
Do you need a traditional tagine pot for this Chicken and Veg Tagine?
While the traditional tagine pot has a distinct shape and lid that allows for slow-cooking and moisture retention, you can replicate the flavours and essence of a tagine using alternative cookware. In fact, in this Chicken and Veg tagine recipe a non-stick saucepan is all that you need.
Traditional tagines are also slow-cooked. This recipe speeds up the cooking process, so it’s on the table faster. Making in perfect for mid-week dinners.
Spiced Chicken and Veg Tagine
FOR THE RAS EL HANOUT
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
FOR THE TAGINE
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 640 g chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 zucchini chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 400 g can of gluten-free chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 75 g dried apricots
- 100 ml gluten-free chicken stock ideally reduced-salt
- fresh coriander to garnish
- juice of 1 lemon
- Mix together all the ingredients for the ras el hanout in a bowl.
- Put the olive oil in a large nonstick saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onion, garlic, chicken and rasel hanout. Fry for 5 minutes, then add the zucchini and carrots and fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, honey, apricots and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened and the chicken is tender. Add a splash more water during cooking if needed.
- Ladle into bowls to serve – this is wonderful with rice or gluten-free couscous – and garnish with coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice.
• Did you all enjoy this? Next time, try swapping the chicken for lamb, beef, or gluten-free marinated tofu. • You might also like to adjust the spice quantities: up the ginger for warmth; add more cinnamon for sweetness or increase the cayenne for more heat.