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Moroccan Tagine Style Chicken Thighs

I fell in love with tagine style cooking during a recent trip to Morocco. A tagine is a dish named after the two-piece clay pot in which it is cooked. The unique shape of the tagine with a fluted cone top allows for it to trap steam as the dish cooks resulting in a dish infused with flavour and meat so tender it falls off the bone. You can also use a Le Creuset or similar cast iron pot to achieve a similar result which is what I used for this recipe. Moroccan cuisine focuses on slow cooked meats, vegetables, herbs and spices that have medicinal qualities providing anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. The method of slow cooking meats is particularly healthy because it cuts down on carcinogens called heterocyclic amines that are produced from cooking meat at high temperatures. I particularly love making tagines this time of year when I begin to crave warming and comforting foods that are easy on the digestive system.

Marinade Ingredients:

12 boneless skinless chicken thighs, preferably organic

1/2 c olive oil

8 garlic cloves, minced

4 tsp ceylon cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds, crushed

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Place 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs in a shallow dish. Gently stir marinade ingredients and pour over chicken thighs, gently massaging marinade into chicken. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight, massaging chicken occasionally.

Additional Ingredients:

15 oz. organic chicken broth

1 cup unsulphured dried apricots, quartered

1 cup pitted organic dates

3 tbsp ground almonds

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp saffron threads

14 tsp black pepper

1/2 c fresh cilantro


Transfer chicken and marinade to a cast iron pot such as Le Creuset. Add additional ingredients (with the exception of cilantro) and cook on low at 150 degrees C/295 degrees F for approximately 2-3 hours or until chicken is tender. Garnish with cilantro and serve over basmati rice or cauliflour cous cous. This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Enjoy! xx Kelly

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