The intense flavors of this Citrus Chicken Tagine will transport you. North African spices along with oranges and olives will put this on your list of favorite chicken dishes!
When we were kids, we all learned about cooking from my Mom, who was raised on a farm and learned to cook for a large hungry farm family of 8. They raised their own chickens, so she knew her way around a bird, from start to finish, for sure! She taught the three oldest of us girls one chicken recipe apiece. So, I became the resident chicken fryer, my sister Cathy the barbecue chicken queen and my sister Beth, the oven-fried chicken master. Don’t think there was any gender issues here, we were 6 girls, plus our parents. So we were the obvious (read: only) choice.
Anyway, the fried chicken I learned to cook was pan-fried in the device made infamous in the 60s and 70s, the Electric Skillet. All the joy of stovetop cooking without the stove! A lot easier to cleanup than the stove, too. It was our kitchen’s workhorse. It made scrambled eggs for 8, 4-at-a-time Grilled Cheeses, Sloppy Joes for a crowd, among other things. (So… why don’t we use this anymore? Because they do still make them. You could buy one HERE) Really, at least one meal a day for us. It looked a lot like this:
It did not, however, ever make Citrus Chicken Tagine. I think the closest it got was this (don’t judge, it was delicious!) Apricot Chicken made with a healthy scoop of apricot preserves and some dijon mustard. We loved it! However, had Mom known about Citrus Chicken Tagine, she most likely would’ve made it in said Electric Skillet.
This chicken, a recipe from Geoffrey Zakarian on Food Network’s The Kitchen, is so flavorful you’ll want to make it again and again. Perfect for guests, perfect for your hungry family. So, you’ll note the list of ingredients looks rather long, but that’s just because the list of spices contains many. If you prefer not to make the spice mixture, just substitute about 4 Tablespoons of Ras-el-Hanout, a ready-made spice mixture that includes most of these spices in similar proportion. It’s often found in the spice section of the grocery, or you could get it HERE.
Surprisingly, it’s pretty easy to make, you just mix up a spice paste with harissa and the dry spices – cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and a few others you likely have and some orange zest. Then, rub it on the chicken, and saute it. Next, saute some onions and garlic, add the sautéed chicken back, along with some tomatoes, sliced oranges, green olives, apricots and preserved lemon. Then toss it in the oven for the flavors to deepen and the chicken to become fork-tender. I mean, isn’t your mouth watering at the thought of all that deliciosity on a single bite? Mine, too! Enjoy!
And, I’m interested to see how many of you have cooked in an Electric Skillet? If so, what did you cook? What was your go-to chicken?
If you like Moroccan spices, don’t miss my favorite Moroccan Vegetable Soup, so tasty and satisfying. (Vegan, too!)
PIN this CITRUS CHICKEN TAGINE ->Print
Citrus Chicken Tagine
Adapted from a recipe from Geoffrey Zakarian that I saw on The Kitchen, this Citrus Chicken Tagine doesn’t need a Tagine, just a deep enough dish to saute in and go into the oven. I used a large Dutch oven for it.
The prep time for this is relatively short, but the cook time is long, since you cook it low and slow to make the chicken thighs fork-tender. You won’t be sorry for putting in the time. Promise!
I served the chicken with couscous, but you could serve it with na’an, rice or noodles!
- Prep Time: 30 min
- Cook Time: 2 hr
- Total Time: 2 hr, 30 min
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Stovetop and Oven
- Cuisine: North African
For the Spice Rub:
- 2 T Harissa
- 1 T Smoked Paprika
- 1 T Ground turmeric
- 1 t Ground Cumin
- 1 t Ground Ginger
- 1 t Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 t Ground Coriander
- 1/2 t Ground Allspice
- 1/2 t Cardamom
- 1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
- 2 Cara Cara Oranges, Zested, then cut into eighths
For the Chicken
- 4 T Canola Oil
- 8 Bone-in Chicken Thighs
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Red or Spanish Onion, diced
- 1 1/2 c (half of a large can) Whole Tomatoes, hand crushed
- 1 c Chicken Stock
- 1 c Large Green Olives, pitted
- 1/2 c dried apricots, diced
- 1/4 c Chopped Prerserved Lemon
To Garnish (optional)
- 1 Meyer Lemon, thinly sliced
- Fresh Cilantro and/or Mint leaves
Prep the Spice Mixture:
- Preheat oven to 325F. Heat a wide braising pan, or a Dutch Oven or Tagine, over Medium-High heat.
- Next, In a small bowl, mix together the harissa, smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, allspice, cardamom, cayenne, zest of the two Cara Cara oranges, and 2 Tablespoons of Canola oil. Stir until a paste is formed.
Sear the Chicken:
- Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Then, rub half of the paste over the chicken thighs, making sure they are coated top and bottom.
- Pour the remaining 2 T Canola Oil into the hot pan. Place the thighs, skin-side down into the oil. Leave for 5 minutes. They should be golden brown and easy to turn at this point. Turn and cook until other side is golden as well, another 4-5 minutes. Place thighs on a plate and set aside.
Finish Composing the dish:
- Into the pan, add the onion, remaining paste, and the garlic. Use a wooden spoon and scrape any browned bits from the pan. Cook until onions are softened and lightly brown, about 5 minutes more.
- Place the chicken pieces atop the onion mixture, then add: tomatoes, (crushing with your hands), stock, olives, apricots, preserved lemon, orange slices. Season with salt and pepper, remembering the preserved lemon and olives add additional salt. Braise in oven, partially covered for 1 hour, 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to braise 15-45 minutes longer, until chicken is fork tender.
- Garnish, if desired, with sliced Meyer lemon and cilantro and/or mint leaves
Keywords: Moroccan, Chicken, Tagine, Citrus Chicken Tagine
mimi rippee says
This looks beautiful. I can’t use my tagine any longer because the top or bottom broke – I can’t remember which. So I’ll just use a pot! Love the ingredients.
Thanks, Mimi! Sorry your Tagine is broken, but you are right, a heavy pot will do just fine! I imagine you will love it, as we did! Thanks for visiting!
Kelly | Foodtasia says
Laura, this tagine looks so flavorful and delicious! I love salty sweet dishes and the citrus you have in here must be wonderful!
With five kids and extended family, I rarely cook for less than 9! I always use 2 big black cast iron pans. An electric skillet would have been brilliant!
You’re so right! An electric skillet is practically necessity for that size group! Well, they do still make them… Anyhow,thannks so much for your visit – I imagine cooking with 2 big black castiron skillets is somewhat difficult, that’s a lot of heavy lifting!
David @ Spiced says
I’ve been debating getting an actual tagine for a while now. It’s a struggle as I suspect that I won’t use it enough to justify the space…but it would be fun for recipes like this. Anyhoo, what ever happened to those electric skillets? You’re right that they just disappeared. I haven’t thought about those things in years! This Tagine looks and sounds delicious, Laura! Oranges and olives don’t sound like they’d go together at first glance, but I know they do. I need to put this recipe on the list to make soon. Also, is it just me or does Ras-el-Hanout sound like a villain in Batman? 🙂
I’ve also debated buying a Tagine, it certainly would be fun to use. But I think my Dutch Oven does a pretty good job, and with space at a premium, I’m not sure I could justify it either. Might have to build a shed for all the kitchen overflow. But then my yard is the size of a postage stamp, so, there’s that. And you’re right about Ras-el-hanout! So clever! I think there’s a few kitchen items and flavors that would work in a superhero movie, you know, like KimChee! Or the Mysterious Garam Masala! Anyway, thanks for visiting!
Kim Lange says
Love all those amazing flavors and textures all melding together with the chicken, it’s so lovely. Pinning! xo
Thanks Kim! And thanks for the PIN!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
I’m so glad you clarified that there wasn’t any gender discrimination going on, haha! 6 girls you say!? Wow! Your parents had their hands full! This dish is SO flavourful, Laura. I’m loving all of the spices! I use my electric frying pan ALL of the time! I’ve got to try this soon!
Yes, indeed, they did have their hands full. And, if my parenting is any indication, their minds overfilled with lists and things that needed to get done for each of us. Glad you still use that electric skillet. And, you’re right about the flavors and spices of this dish, they are amazing! Hope you get the chance to make it! Thanks for your visit!
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
I love the combination of oranges and olives and use them together in several recipes so I can just imagine how good your chicken is. I’m pinning the recipe and can’t wait to give it a try.
Thanks, Karen! Hope you love it as much as we do! I agree oranges + olives = awesome!
heather (delicious not gorgeous) says
i always love the flavors of tagines – with all the lemon, spices and olives (:
Thanks, Heather! I agree, these spices are phenomenal!
I love Tagines! I can imagine the flavour from this citrus chicken tagine would be amazing! I’m lucky enough to have spent quite a bit of time in Africa and the spices are what makes their food amazing. Yum!
Neil, you’re so right about the spices – rn this is my very favorite spice mix, i just love the citrus with the spicy and earthy. So so fantastic! Lucky you’ve spent time in that region, you probably do this type of dish really well! Thanks for visiting!
We never had an electric skillet but my father has brought electric pizza skillet ages ago and we enjoyed making dinners for some time. Your today’s post is bursting with Moroccan flavours so dear to us and we will definitely keep this idea for one of our slow food gatherings !
Thanks so much, Davorka! I love the idea of a pizza skillet! It sounds perfect for a lovely Sicilian Pizza, another of my favorites lately. Thanks so much for visiting!
Kelly @ Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats says
Sounds so flavorful!! I have never tasted the spices of North Africa so I am super intrigued! Looks like such a yummy dinner 🙂
Thanks, Kelsie – North African /Moroccan spices are so flavorful and unique, I think you might just find a new favorite! ?
Love whe you reminisce about your childhood in your posts, Laura – they always bring a warm feeling. Also, I must admit even though we do eat a lot of chicken in my family, I’ve never made (Probably even never tried) chicken tagine. With these citrus notes, this sounds super delicious!
Thanks so much, Ben! I think food is one of the ties that binds us to our past, present and future and serves as a memory keeper for us. So I appreciate your kind words. I think you would love this chicken. Fortunately you don’t need either an electric skillet or Tagine to cook it in. Hope you get the chance to try it! Thanks again!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
I’ve never heard of an electric frying pan but I can see how it would be a useful tool. Very cool! And this chicken sounds awesome! I love all the flavors going on!
Thanks, Kelsie! This dish is definitely a party of flavors! Thanks for visiting!
Laura, I think we had the same electric frying pan. I believe it was a Sunbeam and the electric element pulled out so you could be it in the sink. I wish I had one now as it was great for frying chicken and fish.
Your Citrus Chicken Tagine looks yummy, I have just the tagine pan to make it in.
Thanks, Ron! I feel like every family had one of these during that time and it was great for all sorts of things. Sounds like your family’s was the same as mine!. Hope you get the chance to make this tasty dish!