Moroccan Chicken Tagine

taginechickenBring the flavors of the far away home. A great and simple recipe with fresh lemon and mild spices. Can be made with only the things stocked in a regular kitchen.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (about 4 medium breasts)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (about 6 medium thighs)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 lemon zest strips (2-inch-long), from 2 lemons
8 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 8 teaspoons)
2 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
1 pound carrots (about 6 medium), peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cups Greek cracked green olives, pitted and halved
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
Water, as needed for reheating
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (for serving)
2 medium cloves garlic, mashed to a fine paste (for serving)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (for serving)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves (for serving)

Preparation

  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with the flour, shaking to remove the excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, 6 to 9 minutes. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate. Repeat with 2 more tablespoons of the oil and the remaining chicken, and transfer to the plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, lemon zest strips, and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring often, until the onions are browned at the edges, about 7 minutes (add 1 tablespoon of water if the pan gets too dark). Stir in the minced garlic, paprika, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the broth and honey, scraping up any browned bits.
  • Add the browned chicken thighs, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and then arrange the breasts in a single layer on top of the carrots. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast registers 160 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Transfer all of the chicken to a clean plate and tent with foil. Stir in the olives and apricots, return to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the liquid has thickened slightly and the carrots are tender, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces (alternatively, the breasts and thighs can be left whole). Remove the strips of lemon zest, stir in the shredded chicken, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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