29 April 2007

Moroccan chicken with artichokes
and green peas

This is how I'm cooking in the new tajine I bought in Paris. You could make this in any covered dish or even in a pot on top of the stove. And the spices are optional. Use whatever spices or herbs you like.

Peel two medium onions, cut them in half through the root end, and slice the halves vertically into crescent-moon shapes (does that make sense?). Or cut them into rings. Sauté the onions lightly in a mixture of butter and oil, salted and peppered, just until they start to become transparent. Take the onions out of the pan with a slotted spoon.

Sauté the onions in a pan and then
transfer them to the baking dish.

Cut up the chicken and sauté the pieces in the same pan as the onions, on medium heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper and curry powder to taste over the chicken pieces while they are browning. Keep the heat low so it doesn't burn. If you can get the Moroccan Ras el Hanout spice powder, use that. Or make your own mixture of cumin, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, turmeric, allspice, and other spices.

When the chicken is lightly browned, remove it from the pan. Pour about two cups of chicken stock or white wine or water, or a mixture, into the pan to dissolve all the spices and cooking juices that are stuck on the bottom.

Lay the sautéed chicken over the onions in the baking dish.

Put the onions in the tajine or another oven-proof dish and lay the sautéed chicken pieces on top. Top the chicken with four or more artichoke bottoms (I used canned ones). Artichoke hearts, canned or frozen, would also be good.

Pour the liquid from the sauté pan over all. It shouldn't cover the ingredients, which will steam in the covered dish. Just enough liquid in the bottom to produce some steam is what you want, and you can always add more if needed during the cooking. Put the lid on dish and put it in a very hot oven.

Sautéed onions, browned chicken pieces,
and artichoke bottoms in the tajine.

When the liquid in the baking dish is boiling and the dish is steaming, you can turn the heat down to about 375ºF (200ºC) and let the chicken and vegetables finish cooking. Let it cook for 45 minutes to an hour to make sure the chicken is well cooked.

Extra broth and the green peas to finish the dish

You can use peas out of a can. As our English friend Janet says, the peas in tins here France are very, very good. You could of course use fresh or frozen peas instead. Pour the canned peas over the chicken and artichokes about 10 minutes before you are going to take the chicken out of the oven so that they have time to heat through and cook a little. You might need to put fresh or frozen peas in early to give them time to cook.

I had more peas than I needed for the dish, so I heated them in the microwave in the extra cooking broth and we had them alongside.

Voilà ! Tajine de poulet aux artichauts et petits pois.

Serve with steamed couscous or boiled rice, or just as it is. The peas are starchy, after all.



  1. This tajine dish looks even better when it's full! ;) Another great meal!

  2. This looks really good. I have bought one of those dishes to cook in yet. I keep forgetting to go where I can find them. I do my version of a tajine with a ceramic dish and cover it with foil. It's really fun to use all sorts of different ingredients. My favorite has been chicken, potatoes, onions, garlic and green olives. I marinate the chicken in lemon juice and squeeze a lemon over the whole thing when I bring it out of the oven. So good. I'm going to try your recipe next.

  3. I was wondering if you have noticed a difference, in the result, of using a tagine as opposed to any other piece of equipment. I see these at stores frequently, but don't want to spend the money, if there is no resulting "improvement".

  4. I haven't cooked it it enough yet to know whether it makes a difference. Over time, maybe I'll be able to say.


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