Jamie Oliver Chicken Tagine is a complex and spicy chicken dish that will elevate any dinner.
This traditional stew comes from Morocco, where it is made in large clay pots called tagines. This unique cooking device helps keep tougher cuts of meat tender and juicy, similar to a Dutch oven.
Tagine actually refers to the two-piece cookware set and the stewed meat itself. Tagine dishes are known for containing dozens of spices to create a deeply aromatic and flavorful dish.
This stewed chicken is highlighted by flavors like fennel and preserved lemon that gives it a unique and exotic taste.
Chef Jamie Oliver’s version of this recipe keeps things simple and uncomplicated. His casual style of cooking breaks down complex recipes and makes good food easy to cook.
This chicken tagine is a great way to mix up your typical chicken dinner. It’s packed with flavor without using lots of fat or sugar, so it’s healthy too!
Picking the Best Jamie Oliver Chicken Tagine Ingredients
This is an excellent family-sized dish, as it uses a whole quartered chicken. Using whole chicken rather than just chicken breasts gives the dish more flavor and variety.
Any butcher will quarter a chicken for you if you don’t have time to do it yourself. Traditionally, you would include dark and white meat pieces in your stew.
You can also use whole chicken thighs or drumsticks for your stew. Just remember that using smaller cuts means you have to adjust the cooking time.
Lemon trees were introduced to the Mediterranean region thousands of years ago from India. They aren’t native to the region, so one way for Moroccans to enjoy lemons year-round is to preserve them.
Beldi lemons are the most common lemon used for preservation. They are highly fragrant and have thin skin, which makes them easy to preserve.
Lemons are typically quartered and stuffed into a jar with a salty brine. This helps mellow out the sharp zesty flavor and gives the lemons more subtle citrus notes.
This flavor lends itself well to savory spiced dishes like tagines. The lemon takes on more of an umami flavor, rather than being tangy.
Olives are a staple of Mediterranean cooking and are often featured in stews. They add a distinct saltiness that enhances broths and sauces.
Right off the tree, this fruit is incredibly bitter and inedible. Olives are soaked in brine to mellow out the flavor, and this brine also gives them their saltiness.
Typically, olives are eaten on their own as a delicacy. They’re also common in North American fares like pizzas and salads!
Fennel comes from the same plant family as carrots, although their flavor is much different. You can recognize fennel by its wispy green leaves and yellow flowers.
Fennel has a distinct herbal flavor very similar to licorice or anise star, but milder. Fennel is often used fresh in salads, or cooked in stews to add fresh herby notes.
Fennel is a featured ingredient in dishes like tagines, pizzas, and absinthe!
Jamie Oliver Chicken Tagine Recipe
- Prep Time20 min
- Cook Time1h50 min
- Total Time2h10 min
- Make the Spice Rub
Add the powdered ginger, cumin, powdered coriander, and olive oil to a small bowl and mix spices together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Coat the Chicken
Place the chicken pieces into a large bowl. Use your hands to coat the chicken all over with the spices.
- Marinate the Chicken Overnight
Cover the top of the large bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and leave it overnight to marinate.
- Fry the Chicken
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Place the dutch oven on the stove and set it to medium heat.
Add olive oil to the dutch oven, then add the chicken with the skin facing down. Cook the chicken on each side for about 10 minutes until golden brown.
- Sauté the Diced Vegetables
Chop your onion, garlic, and fennel bulb. Add vegetables to the dutch oven, along with the bunch of coriander.
Saute the vegetables for 2-3 minutes.
- Add Lemon, Saffron, and Olives
Remove the seeds from the lemons and add them to the dutch oven, along with the saffron and olives.
- Pour in Stock and Simmer
Heat the chicken stock over the stove in a saucepan until hot. Add the hot stock to the dutch oven, then cover the pot with the lid.
Turn the heat down to low. Allow the tagine to simmer for 1 1/2 hours on low heat.
- Add More Water
Check the tagine halfway through cooking. If the stock has mostly absorbed, add more liquid and cover with the lid again.
- Adjust Seasoning and Serve
After 1 1/2 hours, the chicken should be cooked and come right off the bone.
Taste the tagine and adjust the salt and pepper. Serve this mouthwatering dish hot, and garnish it with freshly chopped coriander.
Delicious Ways to Adapt This Recipe
- Chickpeas are a traditional ingredient in many Moroccan dishes, including Moroccan chicken tagine. Although Jamie Oliver’s recipe doesn’t include chickpeas, you can add them as a way to make this meal more filling.
- Another popular ingredient in many Moroccan stews is dried fruit. Dried apricots and raisins add a touch of sweetness to the stew to balance the medley of spices.
- If you do add sweet dried fruit, it’s best to do so in the last 20 minutes of cooking. This will ensure they stay intact, and retain their full flavor.
- If you want a more intense savory flavor, add fresh garlic and paprika to the chicken spice rub. This will give the chicken more flavor, without making the stew itself too strongly spiced.
- Instead of powdered coriander, you can use coriander stalks or coriander seeds. It will give a more robust taste to your tagine. Count 1 heaped teaspoon coriander seeds.
Chickpeas are also filled with fiber and are an incredible source of protein. A vegetarian version of this dish could swap out the chicken for chickpeas entirely.
Jamie Oliver Chicken Tagine Serving Suggestions
- Since this is a traditional Moroccan stew, it is best served with traditional Moroccan sides. Spoon this stew over a bed of fluffy couscous, or serve with a traditional flatbread called msemen. If you don’t have msemen available in your local grocery store, other common flatbreads like pitas would work.
- Harissa is a spicy chili sauce that is often served in Morocco as a condiment alongside tagine. You can add a tablespoon on top of your tagine, or have it on the side to add as you like.
- A rich stew such as this one can always use a fresh side to lighten things up. Try serving your chicken tagine with a green garden salad, or lightly seasoned roasted vegetables.
Cooked chicken stews of any type should always be stored in sealed airtight containers in the refrigerator. You can store chicken tagine like this for up to 4 days.
This dish is perfect for the freezer, and days when you just don’t have the energy to cook. Store in an airtight container to maintain this stew’s freshness.
This chicken will maintain its taste and texture in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To thaw, place frozen chicken and preserved lemon tagine in the refrigerator overnight. You can reheat it over the stove in a pot, or the microwave on HIGH.
If you don’t use the thawed tagine right away, it will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you’ve reheated the tagine, it should be eaten right away and not stored again.
- 11.7g Carbs