Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous

Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous // wishfulchef.comI haven’t posted in over a week, and the reason is this very recipe. We’ve been testing this delicious Moroccan Tagine for our recipe kit venture GrubKit.com over the past week or so. I’m excited to share this dish with all of you!

This recipe takes chicken drumsticks (and/or thighs) and lets them simmer with exotic spices like cardamom, coriander, turmeric and dried apricots and prunes to create a meal that’s delicious, complex and a little sweet. The key to this dish is the time it simmers. That time lets the spices work their magic and slowly tenderize and “melt” the meat. Your kitchen will be filled with a cornucopia of aromas. For a complete meal, enjoy this dish with a side of saffron couscous (recipe below).

Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous // wishfulchef.com

Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous // wishfulchef.com

Add spice rub mixture to the chicken and mix well.

Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous // wishfulchef.com

Brown the chicken on both sides. Do this in batches, then set aside.

Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous // wishfulchef.com

Saute onions making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Then simmer chicken, water & orange juice for 20 minutes.

Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous // wishfulchef.com

Add cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, parsley & dried fruit, then simmer for another 20-25 minutes, until cooked.

Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous // wishfulchef.com

Prepare saffron couscous while the chicken simmers. When couscous is done, fluff with a fork.

Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous // wishfulchef.com

Serve the saffron couscous alongside the chicken and sauce for a complete meal.

Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous // wishfulchef.com

Moroccan Tagine

  • 2-3 pounds chicken pieces, like drumsticks and thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Spice Rub

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried pitted prunes
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

    Saffron Couscous

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • a big pinch of salt

    Squeeze oranges, chop onions, lightly crush cardamom and cut dried fruit in half. Set all aside.

    In a large bowl, combine chicken and spice rub, mix well. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a tagine or large skillet on medium heat. Brown half of the chicken pieces for 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer to the same bowl, then brown remaining chicken. Set aside.

    To the same pan, add about a tablespoon of oil, then chopped onions and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add chicken, water and orange juice. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Stir in dried parsley, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and dried fruit. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until chicken is tender. Add water if more sauce is needed.

    Begin preparing the saffron couscous. About 15 minutes before serving, put 1-1/4 cups of water into a pot. Add the saffron and a big pinch of salt into the water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in the couscous, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

    When the chicken is done, place on a platter. Stir most of the almonds into sauce and pour over the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining almonds over chicken. Serve with the saffron couscous.

    Total Time: 60 minutes
    Yield: Makes 4-6 servings
    Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous // wishfulchef.com print recipe

    Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous // wishfulchef.com

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    7 Responses to “Moroccan Tagine with Saffron Couscous”

    1. Ann Mah July 29, 2012 at 4:51 am #

      Beautiful! I make a different Moroccan chicken tagine with preserved lemons, but this would be an unusual and delicious variation.

    2. Sarah July 29, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

      What a beautiful and delicious looking meal!

    3. Debs @ The Spanish Wok July 30, 2012 at 3:49 am #

      Nothing like Tagines I’ve made in past. Sounds delicious.

    4. Barb July 30, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      Thanks, everyone! We’ve tested this recipe a few times and believe it’s a winner :)

    5. Hannah February 11, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

      Trying this tonight and so far it smells magnificent — found you through Pinterest. My only ‘complaint’ is that saffron is just ridiculously expensive and I have no way of getting it here for less than $17 for a very small amount (thank you, Midwestern USA). I bought couscous but I am thinking about flavoring it with a different spice….

      • Barb February 11, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

        Oh wow, I know saffron costs a lot but that’s expensive! You might be able to order some on Amazon for a cheaper price. But at least when you cook with saffron, a little goes a long way. Thanks for your comment and hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do :)

    6. Cristy Raad April 7, 2014 at 9:31 am #

      What a wonderful tagine! I have made it twice this week. My husband loved it. it is very aromatic and delicious and it looks more complicated to make than it really is. PS The photograph is top quality!

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