Tajine: Chicken with Harissa and Apricots

Moroccan flavors favor the spices used in Indian cooking like coriander, saffron, and cumin. I love these aromatic spices and the heavenly aroma.  I own a beautiful clay tagine bought from a friend who carried it from Morocco,  It makes such a beautiful presentation and keeps the dish juicy and moist.

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A tajine or tagine is a Maghrebi dish which is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The pot has a unique conical shape which helps make your dish moist by letting the steam rise, condense and trickle back down into the shallow base.


I used my tagine right on the burner but have experimented with putting it directly in the oven at 300 degrees F. Of course then you can’t see the beautiful pot simmering on your stove 🙂

Onions are a must in a tagine using them as a bed for the chicken, also layer in cut carrots and fresh cut fennel. Chicken thighs and leg are the best pieces to use to keep it all moist and juicy

The spices are simple, ground coriander, cumin, fennel,  cayenne and some ras-el-hanout if you have it.

Watch this 20 sec video to get the real cooking experience of using a tagine.

Tajine: Chicken i

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

a beautifully slow cooked chicken immersed in fragrant spices


  • 10 pieces of chicken legs and thighs
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • ½ tsp saffron, bloomed in a little warm water
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ras-el-hanout
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 2 carrots chopped in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 fennel bulb chopped in large pieces
  • 5 – 10 pieces of dried apricots
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro
  • About 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • Pink salt


  • Marinate the chicken pieces for a couple of hours ( overnight is best) in 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tbsp fennel powder, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp garlic, and salt.
  • Lightly brown the chicken pieces in olive oil and set aside
  • Heat a tagine on low/medium heat.
  • Add 2-3 tbsp oil, ghee and then the onions. Let the onions sweat for about 5 mins.
  • Add the remaining crushed garlic and ginger and  then add the turmeric and harissa paste and ras-el-hanout
  • Add chicken pieces and pour in the saffron
  • Put the tajine on a diffuser ( I used a small baking pan) and turn down the heat to low-medium
  • Cover and let it cook at low for about 2 hrs. Adjust the salt as you go.
  • In the last 20 mins or so add the apricots.
  • Add lemon juice and serve sprinkled with parsley with a side of rice or bread
  • It tastes even better the next day!

Sharing at  Angie’s Fiesta Friday where our co-hosts this week are Lizet @ Chipa by the dozen and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

12 thoughts on “Tajine: Chicken with Harissa and Apricots

  1. I have the exact same tagine that was gifted to me Zeba. Love it, mostly I use it when I’m having company as it’s such a great conversation piece. You’re right the Moroccan spices mimic the Indian ones. Loved the music in the video 🙂


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