One-Pot Wonders

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Figs and Apricots

March  8, 2016
10 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 6
Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Danielle_centoni is a food editor living in Portland, Oregon.
WHAT: A simple, one-pot chicken dinner, heartened with spices and brightened with dried fruit.
HOW: Sear chicken thighs; then sauté onion and garlic with spices. Add the chicken back in, along with broth and dried fruit, simmer, and eat it over couscous 30 minutes later.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Simple recipe, big flavors. Chicken thighs stay moist, spices make it sing, and fruit makes it barely sweet—and since it cooks in just over half an hour, it's a shoe-in for a weeknight dinner served with rice, couscous, bulgar, or any other grain. The only caveat is that preserved lemon may not readily available (though you can order it online), and without it, the recipe would not be the same. All in all, a recipe we're moving into our regular rotation! —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 yellow onion, one half diced, one half thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup halved, dried black Mission figs
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricots
  • 1/4 preserved lemon, skin and flesh, diced
  • Toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Couscous or another grain, to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and allow to sear until golden brown and can be easily loosened from the pot, about 5 minutes. Turn over and sear the other side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the onions to the pot and saute until translucent and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the cumin, coriander, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, black pepper, and cloves. Stir to combine.
  3. Heat the chicken broth and crumble in the saffron. Pour into the pot, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add the browned chicken thighs, the figs, apricots and preserved lemon. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  4. Serve alongside couscous, garnished with toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh parsley.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • David Currier
    David Currier
  • Sheila
  • Jennifer Jackson
    Jennifer Jackson
  • Analida Braeger
    Analida Braeger
  • JanetFL

27 Reviews

David C. January 11, 2022
All the ingredients are correct however not enough preserved lemon with little pulp, more figs and apricots. But volume of sauce needs to be doubled which means adjusting spices.
Sheila February 5, 2021
This so good and the leftovers were wonderful, too! Used dates instead of figs as plainhomecook mentioned previously. Served first with couscous and leftovers paired with a farro, kale & butternut squash pilaf. Both excellent.
Denise July 28, 2020
This was the first dish my family and I made in our new tagine, and we loved it! Definitely adding to our menu rotation. Thanks so much!
Jennifer J. April 19, 2020
Delicate and delicious recipe! My husband loved it said he couldn’t believe it was so delicious. My chicken didn’t crisp but stuck to the bottom of the dish when trying to sear it so when it was all cooking in the pot I broiled it to get a crispy skin. I also added cherry tomatoes some slices of lemon instead and didn’t use the pepper because I don’t like it too spicy. I also finished cooking in the oven for not that long to deepen the flavors. I served it over brown basmati rice which is what we had in the pantry. Excellent, thank you!
AllyKrue July 7, 2019
Delicious! The preserved lemon is a must.
plainhomecook February 4, 2019
I will be making this regularly. I didn’t have gigs so used dates instead, and I added a spritz of lemon juice at the end, but otherwise made as directed. Even the 11-year-old picky eater adored it. Thank you!
danielle_centoni April 3, 2019
Dates are a great swap! And I'm so glad it passed muster -- I've got a picky eater myself.
Sharon S. April 18, 2018
Tried this in my tagine, which I love. I was in a hurry so used my Ras el hanout, and the saffron for the flavouring, and everything else the same. We loved it!!! So moist and full of flavour, and the chicken was very tender. Great recipe, so thank you.
danielle_centoni April 3, 2019
Great idea to simply add ras al hanout! So happy to hear you liked it!
Analida B. January 13, 2018
I love tagine dishes and it's all about that slow cooked tender goodness with exotic flavor too! I have a tasty tagine dish to try here also:
Marcella August 27, 2017
This may be a really ridiculous question, but could I use fresh fruit instead? I have beautiful Fresh Mission figs and apricots on hand and would love to give this a try but don't it to end up a mushy mess. Any advice is appreciated!
danielle_centoni September 7, 2017
Hi Marcella! Sorry I just saw this. You can certainly use fresh figs but I would add them toward the end of cooking. The dried figs will have a jammier flavor than fresh, but you'll still get that earthy sweetness. Maybe add during the last 10 minutes of simmering.
danielle_centoni September 7, 2017
same goes for the apricots!
wwitbeck May 9, 2016
Made this tonight and it was fast and delicious. Even the kids loved it. Thank you.
danielle_centoni May 11, 2016
Awesome wwitbeck! So happy to hear it passed the kid test. Mine gave it a thumbs up too.
kristin T. April 17, 2016
This recipe is excellent. I preserved some lemons a few weeks just to make a tagine and I chose this recipe. A lot simpler and quicker than many. I did remove the chicken and reduce the sauce just a bit after the tagine braised. This would make an excellent (and budget friendly) do ahead for a dinner party.
danielle_centoni April 19, 2016
So happy to hear you liked it kristin!
JanetFL April 15, 2016
Congratulations on your win! I will give this a try - sounds wonderful!
danielle_centoni April 17, 2016
Thank you so much Janet!
BellaRasa April 5, 2016
Delicious! I didn't have figs, so I used dried prunes instead. However, we have a fig tree and once ripened, will use those. I served it with roasted carrots with zatar. It's a meal I would serve to guests. Thank you!
danielle_centoni April 6, 2016
So happy to hear you liked it BellaRasa! I think prunes would be a delicious alternative. Also, I'm super jealous of your fig tree. -sigh-
drbabs March 27, 2016
Congratulations on being a finalist! I tested this and really liked it. (I didn't have preserved lemon, either-- I just used the juice and zest of a lemon). Great flavors, really flexible, and super easy. A wonderful recipe.
danielle_centoni March 28, 2016
Thanks so much drbabs! I'm so glad you liked it!
aargersi March 9, 2016
LOVE LOVE LOVE the flavor profile!
danielle_centoni March 9, 2016
Thank you aargersi! It's really super simple to make and the sweet-savory flavors are very balanced. The saffron gives it a little earthiness and that little bit of preserved lemon gives it just enough briny acidity. I hope you try it and let me know what you think!
aargersi March 28, 2016
Congratulations!! I tested it too (Hi DrB :-) and we all loved it ... So happy to see it as a finalist!!
danielle_centoni March 28, 2016
I'm so glad you tried it and liked it aargersi! And thanks so much for being an early cheerleader for it. :-)