My Moroccan-style Chicken Tagine

My Moroccan-style Chicken Tagine

I love Moroccan food and have a particular soft spot for tagines. While this dish takes its inspiration from traditional North African cooking it doesn’t have to be cooked in a tagine. It’s a more accessible way for the family to enjoy an aromatic, gently spiced meal that could otherwise take hours to prepare.


  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 chicken Marylands (leg quarters), each cut into 3 pieces (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 brown onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100 g (3½ oz) fresh dates, pitted
  • 150 g (5½ oz) dried apricots
  • coarsely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish

Couscous (see page below recipe), to serve


  1. Combine all the spices, salt and pepper in a large bowl and add the chicken pieces.
    Mix well, making sure that all the chicken is well coated with the spice blend, then set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan or enamelled cast-iron casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chicken and cook for 5–7 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally.
  3. Pour over 300 ml (10½ fl oz) of water, or enough to cover the chicken pieces, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and gently simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the dates and apricots and cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is nicely cooked and starting to fall off the bone. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt as desired.
  5. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with couscous.



  • 200 g (7 oz/1 cup) couscous
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. To make the couscous, preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F). Spread out the couscous in a large ovenproof dish and pour over 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) of cold water. Mix together and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Use a fork to separate the grains of couscous until light, fluffy and well separated. Add the salt and olive oil and mix until the couscous grains are nicely coated.
  3. Cover with foil and heat through in the oven for 25–30 minutes, then remove and cover with a tea towel to keep warm until you are ready to serve.


As seen in my fourth book More Please! — recipe by Manu Feildel, photography by Rob Palmer, published by Murdoch Books Australia.


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