I was 20 then, quite addicted to the TV channel Discovery Travel and Living. I virtually explored different countries, culture, and cuisine through this channel. With a desire to visit the places shown in the show and dreaming about traveling the world, my first virtual experience of the place Morocco was through Discovery Travel and Living.
I barely knew how to cook, just a few dishes perhaps and which would only take care of the hunger part without a hint of other finer elements. I was quite fascinated with the Moroccan culture and cuisine the moment I saw it on the TV. I even remember trying out a vegetarian stew soon after watching that very episode. I feel fortunate enough to have known the wonderful middle eastern culture and cuisine. Eventually, I have fallen in love with the richness of its culture while living here for more than a decade now.
Until a few years back I didn’t have any idea about what exactly Tajine meant and assumed it to be a name of a place in Morocco. But later came to know that, TAGINE is the traditional and popular Moroccan or North African dish named after the cookware, a shallow earthen clay pot, in which meat and veggies are cooked together.
Tajine is a dish from Morocco and everyone has a different spin on it. So many varieties that can be made either with lamb, chicken or veggies.
6 chicken thighs with skin
3-4 medjool dates
3-4 soft figs
10-12 pitted black olives
3 cloves of garlic peeled
1 large onion sliced
4-5 baby potatoes or 1 large potato cut into 4 pieces
1 medium carrot cut into 4 pieces
1 large tomato diced into big chunks
2 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp ginger powder or grated ginger
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Crushed coriander powder
2 tsp all spices
2 tsp Paprika
1 cup stock
1/2 red wine ( optional) or 1/2 pomegranate juice
Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Marinade the chicken pieces with all spices powder, garlic cloves, dates, dried fruits, salt and pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, with red wine in a zip lock pack or a container with a tight lid for 4-6 hours or overnight preferably.
- Heat olive in a pan take out chicken pieces and sear them for 2 minutes turning up on each side.
- Heat oil in a large deep bottom casserole and fry the onions for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the spices and sauté on low heat to avoid spices from getting burnt. Now add the chicken pieces and sauté for a minute or two. Add the stock, the veggies, the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and let it cook for an hour and a half on lowest heat.
Once done garnish with some roasted pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and chopped fresh parsley.
Serve it in a traditional tajine( if you have one) along with warm lemony couscous. I am pretty sure you will be blown off by the mellowed sweet and savory Moroccan flavored chicken. So heavenly!