23 October 2013

Tajine de poulet et de courge

This is a really simple recipe. You might need to make your own spice blend, however, if you can't get the Moroccan ras el hanout mix where you are.

The ras el hanout mix I used included a little bit of cornstarch, which works as a thickener to make for a more velvety sauce, so you might want to add some, or some flour or potato starch, to your spice blend. The other ingredients in the ras el hanout are curry, powdered coriander seed, cumin, salt, carraway, turmeric, and hot red pepper including cayenne pepper. You could also just substitute commercially available curry powder, I think (but I haven't tried it).

You can use a whole chicken, cut up, or you can use chicken breast filets, thighs (boneless or not), and/or drumsticks. The main thing is to really dredge the chicken pieces in the spice mix, and not just sprinkle a little bit on. It needs a lot of spice. So don't use a spice mix that will end up too spicy hot for sensitive palates.

Lightly brown the spice-covered chicken pieces in vegetable oil in a fairly deep sauté or chef's pan, or a wok. Take the chicken out of the pan and set it aside, maybe in a warm oven.

Cut up a winter squash or some fresh pumpkin — butternut or acorn squash, for example. I used one half of a buttercup squash like the one I posted pictures of yesterday. You could substitute sweet potato. Trim the squash to take the peel off and cut it into one-inch cubes, more or less.

Peel and slice three good-sized onions. After you've browned the chicken, cook the onions in the same pan until they just start to brown a little around the edges. At that point, add the squash cubes and a handful of raisins to the pan. Optionally, toss in some almonds or macadamia nuts.

Arrange the chicken parts over the top, pour on a cup or more of water or broth, cover the pan, and let it simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, the squash cubes are softened, and the liquid is velvety and thickened. (If you cook it too long, the squash will completely disintegrate into the sauce.)

Serve with some couscous grain, rice, or boiled potatoes.

This could easily serve 6, or four really hungry people. Here's an ingredient list:

1 whole chicken, cut up, or 2½ lbs. chicken parts
3 or 4 tsp. ras el hanout or curry spices, including cornstarch or flour
3 onions
1 or 1½ lbs cubed winter squash (peeled and seeded) or sweet potato
½ cup raisins (a handful)
1 or 2 cups water or broth


  1. Looks appetizing. Is it that sauté pan?

  2. As usual, your photos are great, and make this plat look great. :)

  3. Yes, CHM, I sauteed the chicken and the onions in 'your' sauté pan. We use that nice pan all the time. Thanks again.

    Judy, thanks to you for the nice comment too.

  4. Ken, this dish looks wonderful! I just got some ras el hanout, and now you have shown me how to use it! Thanks

  5. We'll give that one a try - looks delish! Ras al hanout goes perfectly with squash.

  6. you had me a "curry spice" just beautiful!

  7. Good, C in Calif. You could make this kind of tajine with lamb also.

    Pauline and OFG, oui !


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