Chicken Tagine with Almonds, Prunes, & Honey


Yields: 4 servings
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 1 3 lb. chicken, cut into pieces with skin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 wedges preserved lemon (recipe follows)
  • 2 onions, shredded
  • ¼ cup canned diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 10 to 15 prunes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon whole almonds, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped


This recipe works best in a pie pan that has fairly straight sides or in a tart pan.

To make the Pie:
In a small bowl, mix saffron threads with 2 tablespoons of water. Let this mixture soak at room temperature until needed.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the tagine over medium heat until the oil is very hot and almost smoking.

Add chicken to tagine, skin side down and let the meat sear for 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the chicken with tongs, and sear on the other side for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, slice each lemon wedge into 4 pieces.

Add onions to the chicken, and spread them out evenly. Top with the lemon pieces, tomatoes, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, honey, and saffron mixture from step one. Mix everything together until fully incorporated.

Cover the tagine, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the prunes to the chicken and stir. Cover and let simmer 15 additional minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small sauté pan, and add almonds. Keep the pan moving over medium low heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the almonds take on a golden brown color.

When the chicken is finished, top with almonds, sesame seeds, and cilantro.

To Make Preserved Lemons:
•   4 lemons, cut into 6 wedges each
•   10 fresh bay leaves
•   2 tablespoons salt
•   2 cups fresh lemon juice

In a large jar (approximately 1.5 quart), place wedges of 2 lemons, and top with 1 tablespoon salt and 5 bay leaves, shake the jar.

Top with remaining lemon wedges, bay leaves, and salt. Pour lemon juice over to fill jar, and place lid on tightly.

Shake the jar well. Store in a dark place for 7 days, shaking the jar well once each day.

After 7 days, your lemons are ready to be used for the tagine recipe above.