Make Ahead

Big Zombie Mustard Chicken Tagine with Couscous

October 16, 2009
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

We think of chicken and mustard as a bit prosaic in French cooking, so for this competition Pierino (not his real name) wanted to blow off the doors but not wander too far off the reservation in the smoking aftermath. The knickname for our All Clad tagine is "Big Zombie" anyway. It's massive and it's zombiesque. —pierino

What You'll Need
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces; thighs, legs, wings etc.
  • 1 5 ounce jar honey dijon mustard
  • 1 carrot in small dice
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 ounces dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black, dry cured olives (the wrinkly ones, and leave the pits in sissy)
  • 3 garlic cloves, whacked
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (approximate)
  • 1/4 cup roasted marcona almonds chopped in a food processor (see notes below)
  • 2 blood oranges, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon ras al hanout (see notes below)---or substitute 1 tsp each cumin and tumeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon aleppo pepper or hot pimenton
  • 2 European bay leaves
  • Sea salt
  • pepper
  • clarified butter (or substitute extra virgin olive oil, say a light Spanish type)
  • 4 portions quick variety couscous. We like M'hamsa brand.
  1. Brush the chicken pieces with the honey dijon mustard (or use a spoon).
  2. In the bottom of your tagine or other heavy cooking vessel heat up the butter over a medium flame. Brown the chicken pieces without crowding them and remove to a platter while you deglaze the bottom of your tagine with the white wine.
  3. Add the carrots, onions and garlic and color, adjusting heat as needed.
  4. Return the chicken pieces to the tagine and season with the spices and salt and pepper, turning them a few times. Add the stock, but not enough to cover the chicken and bring it to a simmer.
  5. Add in the apricots, olives and oranges followed by the chopped almonds. Cover and cook at a simmer for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Be sure to taste the sauce occasionally and adjust seasoning if needed.
  6. Meanwhile prepare couscous according to package directions. When the chicken is cooked thoroughly, plate up the couscous and top with chicken and sauce. We think it's nice to have harissa handy as a table condiment.
  7. Notes: for the almonds; you can roast them in a sheet pan ahead with some salt so they are ready for your mise. But if you have a Trader Joe's nearby you can buy them packaged already.
  8. Ras al hanout is an Algerian/Moroccan combination of spices. Look for it in "gourmet" (sob, sob) stores or international markets.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sagegreen
  • Oui, Chef
    Oui, Chef
  • pierino
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.

6 Reviews

Sagegreen July 30, 2011
This was great even with an orange substitution! Thanks, pierino.
pierino July 31, 2011
Thanks. This time of year you do need to substitute a different orange. Try it again in winter when blood oranges are in season.
Oui, C. January 5, 2010
The Big Zombie is back.....hallelujah! Call me a sissy if you want, but I'm taking out the olive pits. ;-)
pierino October 17, 2009
To be frightened by the BIG ZOMBIE watch at Coming soon, the director's cut.
Oui, C. October 16, 2009
The name alone puts this recipe on my short list!
pierino October 16, 2009
We tried to add a photo but got the message "request entity too large"---how's that for irony! Big zombie.