Chicken Tagine With Couscous Recipe


Moroccan Chicken Tagine is a delicious dish that blends together tender chicken and couscous in a spice-infused sauce that’s full of so much flavor. While this meal is traditionally cooked using an earthenware pot called a tagine – which traps steam in the dome, allowing the condensation to drip back into the dish to keep it moist as it slowly stews – you can recreate it using a dutch oven or deep pan with a tight-fitting lid. 

Cook this sweet and savory meal for a different chicken dinner that’s simple yet unique. Read on to learn how to make the recipe.

Can You Eat Tagine with Couscous?

Chicken tagine and couscous is a fantastic mix that gives you more texture and flavor while keeping things healthy and nutritious. With a unique spice mix of ginger, coriander, preserved lemon, almonds, onion, and garlic for a unique flavor profile, this chicken tagine and couscous recipe is an exciting new dish to cook for family and friends.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 or 6 servings


What is tagine sauce made of?

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ lb. boneless chicken thighs, quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 onions, blanched and peeled
  • 14 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2-inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron
  • ½ cup green olives, pitted
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ preserved lemon, seeded and chopped
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

What is couscous made of?

  • 1 ½ cups couscous
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat oil in a large dutch oven or heavy-bottom cast-iron pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper. Place chicken in the pot and sear until skin side is deep golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes total. Reserve seared chicken pieces on a plate.
  3. Add onions to the pot and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and ginger to the pot and continue cooking, until garlic is aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes broth, cumin, saffron, a pinch of salt, and a sprinkle of olive oil to the pot, and bring the liquid to a boil, stirring occasionally. Return chicken to the pot along with any juices that accumulated while it rested.
  4. Bring down from a boil, cover, and simmer until the chicken has cooked through, about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 158°F. Or, reduce heat to medium-low heat and let the chicken simmer over the stovetop for the same amount of time until cooked through.
  5. When the chicken has cooked through, stir in the olives, parsley, lemon, and additional onion to the pot. Reduce heat and leave on the warm stove until ready to serve.
  6. For the couscous, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place dry couscous on a sheet pan and toast until pale golden brown and aromatic, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  7. In a medium pot over high heat, bring the chicken stock, cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, and red pepper to a boil. Add the couscous, stir to combine, cover and simmer. Remove the pot from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  8. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Serve warm with the prepared tagine garnished with almonds and add salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking Tips for Chicken Tagine with Couscous

  • If you don’t have preserved lemons for this chicken tagine recipe, you can substitute them with regular lemon zest or lemon juice as you cook the recipe instead.
  • To add even more decadent flavor to your chicken tagine, replace olive oil with butter.
  • If you cook too much chicken tagine, you can store it for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove over low heat.
  • Aside from couscous, you can also serve chicken tagine with basmati rice or a light salad, the latter of which you can add onion, cucumber, eggplant, and even broccoli.

Final Note

We love recipes that give us new flavor profiles, and this chicken tagine with couscous recipe is a different kind of meal to serve for your loved ones while remaining easy enough to cook without requiring anything fancy. 

Interested in making more interesting recipes like this one? Check out the latest recipes on our site.