Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds

My son was invited to a friends for dinner the other night and had mentioned that the meal tasted great.  When asked what was made he mentioned a Moroccan dish.  I enjoy Moroccan food so asked if he’d get the recipe for me to try. 

Moroccan cooking uses fresh spices extensively, fruits and vegetables and often foods are slow cooked in a vessel called a Tagine.  I don’t have a Tagine, so I used a Dutch Oven which worked well however, Tagine’s will self baste producing a superior dish.

This recipe uses cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, black pepper and salt for spices among other unusual ingredients and fruit not used in traditional American dishes. 

The results were succulent pieces of chicken enrobed with a delicate yet flavorful sauce.  I used bone-in chicken with skin for the fullest flavor however, you can substitute boneless, skinless chicken pieces as well. I also served this with tri-colored couscous drizzled with the luscious sauce covering the chicken and a fresh salad.

The dish was wonderful!  I hope you’ll enjoy it as well.

 Here’s the recipe:

Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds
Serves 4
Gourmet | May 2006

Adapted from Baija Lafridi


1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
1 (3-lb) chicken, cut into 6 pieces, wings and backbone discarded (I
used chicken breasts and thighs)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium red onion, halved, then sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 fresh cilantro
5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons mild honey
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots, separated into halves
1/3 cup whole blanched almonds *

Special equipment: a 10- to 12-inch tagine or heavy skillet; kitchen


Stir together ground cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl or zip lock bag. Add chicken and turn to coat well.

Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in base of tagine (or in skillet), uncovered, over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then brown half of chicken, skin sides down, turning over once, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Brown remaining chicken in same manner, adding any spice mixture left in bowl.

Add onion and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to tagine and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic
and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.

Tie cilantro and parsley into a bundle with kitchen string and add to tagine along with 1/2 cup water, chicken, and any juices accumulated
on plate. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

While chicken cooks, bring honey, remaining cup water, cinnamon
stick, and apricots to a boil in a 1- to 2-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until apricots are very tender
(add more water if necessary). Once apricots are tender, simmer
until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 10 to 15 minutes.

While apricots cook, heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in a small skillet over moderate heat and cook almonds, stirring occasionally, until just
golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Ten minutes before chicken is done, add apricot mixture to tagine. Discard herbs and cinnamon stick, then serve chicken sprinkled with almonds on top.

*Note:  This recipe calls for blanched almonds which I totally forgot to do.  However I still cooked the almonds and they were delicious.  Blanching will remove their skin making them easier to eat in foods.

How to Blanch Almonds

  1. Place almonds in a pot covered with cold water.
  2. Bring water to boil.
  3. Immediately remove from heat and strain almonds.
  4. Rinse with cold water.
  5. Allow to dry on paper towels.
  6. To remove skins, place an almond between thumb and pointer finger, apply pressure on almond with fingers and the skin should come off with easily!

Blanched almonds are very slippery and can go flying when you are trying to remove the skins so use caution when removing them.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. This dish looks and sounds wonderful! I will have to skip almonds – but I really want to try this chicken version. Yum! Thank you for sharing, Vicki!

  2. I have never work with apricot and chicken. This dish looks very interesting:D

  3. I absolutely love Moroccan food and that is such a delicious dish you have cooked!Stunning!

  4. I adore tagines! I once tried making it in the dutch oven but that taste was missing which you get in a earthenware pot. Yours is packed with amazing flavors.

  5. To answer your questions:
    You can leave out the almonds. The dish will be delicious without them. However if you like other nuts try pine nuts or even cashews.

    The chicken and apricots were a wonderful marriage both soft, juicy and succulent. I think you’ll like it.

    Yes I agree a Tagine will creat a superior dish. However for those that don’t have one yet, like myself, the dish still tasted amazing using my LeCreuset Dutch Oven. I can only imagine how much better it would taste if I’d used a tagine. Either way don’t not make this dish if you don’t have one. It will still be incredibly tasty as mine was.

  6. Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing the method to blanch almonds, too. I will certainly be giving this a go.

  7. I love the combination chicken with apricots! Sounds great!

  8. My husband and I have a Moroccan restaurant in Denver that we just love. It’s become our go-to place to bring out of town guests. I guess the next step is start making some dishes on our own. Maybe I’ll start here!

  9. Vicki, Yum – this sounds amazing, I love all of your ingredients, such a unique combination!

  10. What a wonderful dish Vicki! And such great info too! I am not very familiar with Moroccan food at all, but this sure sounds delicious!

  11. I love Moroccan food! I actually lived there for a period of time years and years ago – and this dish is absolutely authentic. I just love including cinnamon in savory dishes. Tagines are pretty and fun to use, but the Dutch oven works just as well in my opinion. It’s just a braise, after all – put a piece of parchment paper on top of the food to recreate the basting effect. Moroccans would eat this dish with their fingers, including the couscous. Trust me, you’ll burn your fingers! I’ll eat mine with a fork, thank you. Anyway, I haven’t cooked anything Moroccan in ages – time to do so again. Thanks so much for this.

  12. We love cooking Tagines – this recipe next on our list to try. We are foodies from Australia with a new blog we’d love you to come and visit –

    We hope to see you soon!


    Kristy & Adam.

  13. What an exciting dish. Chicken isn’t usually exciting, so that’s saying something! I love the flavors that are combined in this.

  14. Apricots are so delicious with any dish, I have never made them myself, this one is pretty too!

  15. Love tagines of any sorts and this one has some awesome flavours.

  16. I love dishes like this..flavourful and saucy.

  17. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.
    Avid Elixir 5 L/Ft Disc Brake

  18. Ohmigoodness, that sounds heavenly! Another blogger recently did a dish with a Tagine and I was thinking I was just out of luck cause I didn’t have one. Genius move with the dutch oven 🙂

  19. My mom has a tagine that she never uses…I think I may have to “borrow” it 🙂 What a delicious dish~

  20. I love the spices in this! I don’t have a tagine either. I’ve seen some gorgeous ones, and have one on my wish list. It’s good to know that it’s optional though- this looks great!

  21. I love all the flavors going on in this! I’d be one happy mom if my son came home with recipes like this!

  22. Thank you for all your comments. Kitchen Riffs great idea on the parchment. I did have a lid for my dutch oven which worked somewhat like a baster but using parchment is brilliant. Thank you for sharing that.

    I appreciate all your comments and hope that you will try this delicious Moroccan dish. Oh and by the way, leftovers were delicious!

  23. I learned this dish not a long ago from other bloggers as I don’t eat Moroccan food much. It looks delicious and make me want to try this!

  24. What gorgeous flavors for a chicken dish! My family would really love this 🙂

  25. Well this looks fantastic! I don’t know if it would be the same omitting the cinnamon – and I’ve always wanted a tangine!

  26. Believe it or not, I’ve never tried tagine, but I can tell from your recipe I’d love it.

Leave a Comment »