Chicken and Chickpea Tagine

A hearty combination of moist braised dark-meat chicken and tender chickpeas seasoned with a warm, Moroccan-inspired spice blend.

Chicken and Chickpea Tagine

I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of Moroccan-inspired braises. They're generally fairly simple to put together, but their use of spices makes their flavor complex. This tagine uses eight spices to form a warm, savory spice blend that brings out the best in dark-meat chicken and tender chickpeas. Once you have the spice blend made, it's just a matter of putting together the braise and letting it gently simmer for under an hour. Serve with some fluffy couscous and a vegetable salad dressed with plenty of acidity, and you have a completely satisfying meal. This is also one of those dishes that will taste better after a night in the fridge, so leftovers are welcome!

Spices used in this recipe


Paprika, Spanish Sweet
Garlic Powder
Cinnamon, Ground
Coriander, Ground
Turmeric, Ground
Ginger, Ground
Cardamom, Green Ground
Allspice, Ground
Salt, Kosher
Peppercorns, Tellicherry, Grinder

Ingredients

Spice Blend:

Tagine:

  • 3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or leg quarters
  • Vanns Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Vanns Black Tellicherry Peppercorns, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. Spice Mix
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, juices drained and reserved
  • 2 14-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 preserved lemon (homemade, if you have them on hand!), seeds removed, rind and flesh finely chopped
  • Small handful cilantro leaves

Preparation

  1. Stir together the spices in a small bowl until evenly combined. Put a dry saute pan over low heat -- when warm, add the spice mix and toast for about 2 minutes, until the spices are fragrant, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  2. Season the chicken pieces with 2 Tbs. of the toasted spice mix, as well as Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste. Heat the canola oil in a Dutch oven or tagine pot and sear the chicken, in batches if necessary, until deeply browned, about 7 minutes per side, starting skin-side down. Remove the browned chicken to a tray or plate that will contain any juices.
  3. Remove all but 2 Tbs. of the fat in the pan and put over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring, until translucent and soft, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock and reserved tomato juices and bring to a rapid simmer. Cook until the liquid is reduced by about one third, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, and preserved lemon to the pan and stir to combine. Nestle the browned chicken pieces into the sauce, pouring in any juices that have collected as they rested. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and cover. Cook over medium-low heat until the thickest part of each chicken piece reads 165°F on an instant read thermometer, 25 - 40 minutes. Check the temperature after 25 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed. Serve garnished with cilantro leaves and a side of couscous.

Serves 4-6.

You might also like

Braised Chicken with Moroccan Spices, Preserved Lemon, and Green Olives

Here's a warming braised chicken dish to brighten up your dinner on a cold evening. Packed with Moroccan spices, preserved lemons, and briny green olives, this dish offers a punch of flavor with relatively little effort.

Tinga de Pollo (Smoky Chicken in a Tomato-Chile Sauce)

A smoky, spicy braised chicken that makes for the perfect taco filling.

Grilled Chicken Parm with Kale

A lightened up, brightened up version of chicken parm that won't weigh you down, but still gives that same satisfaction of juicy chicken, melty cheese, and savory tomato sauce.

Lemony Chicken and Rice with Broccoli

A warm spice blend and bright lemon zest and juice bring juicy chicken, fluffy basmati rice, and tender broccoli together in this one-pot meal.

Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma

There’s a small restaurant chain in Los Angeles called Zankou Chicken that is well known for its super secret chicken shawarma recipe, which is crispy and juicy and beautifully spiced and comes with a crazy-good garlic sauce that will make your breath reek for at least the next few hours if not days. 

Chickpea Salad With Red Onion, Sumac, & Lemon

Have you ever heard of sumac? If you live in the American South, you may think of it as a weed. But hopefully after making this recipe, you will now think of it as a delicious weed.

Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew

A simple Spanish stew uses technique and a bold combination of spices to elevate affordable, healthy ingredients.

Smoky, Spicy Black Bean Soup with Braised Chicken

It’s starting to feel like real springtime weather these days -- cool in the mornings and evenings, warm during the day, weather that sometimes makes it hard to know what to eat. A cool, refreshing, summery salad or a comforting, warming wintery stew?

Spiced Popcorn Chickpeas

A different side to the humble chickpea, crisped up in olive oil and tossed with an addictively savory blend of spices.

Harissa Roasted Chicken

The earthy spice of Vanns Harissa, slight green bitterness of Vanns Celery Seed, and heat of Vanns Aleppo Style Chili Flakes bring some excitement to tender roast chicken, with sumac-marinated red onions adding a pop of brightness.