Someday I fancy myself as the “Tagine Queen” making marvelous succulent, spicy meals in one of oldest cooking vessels known to man, the Tagine cooking pot . Ok, that’s a bit of a stretch, but I will tell you that I’m loving the journey of discovering this earthenware pot that makes the most flavorful meals. I have to thank Jeff Morgan at Cost Plus World Market in Scottsdale. I was looking for some new ideas, simple cooking methods, fresh approaches to kitchen techniques and Jeff guided me over to the Tagine. It looked intimidating. The learning curve would be too steep. Middle Eastern cooking was not in my wheelhouse. I was so wrong on all fronts! In fact, it’s about as much fun as you can have cooking for under twenty dollars, which is the cost of the glazed Tagine cooker that I settled on. You choose your ingredients and then lay them on the circular flat low base. Then add your spices, place the lid on and into the oven it goes! What happens there is incredible. The steam rises up the domed top of the Tagine, which is designed to return all of the condensation to the bottom pot. So that steam falls back down into the food to create moist and succulent veggies, chicken, fish, lamb, or whatever ingredients you decide upon. It’s also the perfect vessel to let the spices marry. Because the heat is distributed so evenly it’s like having a convection oven within your oven! When the food is done, you remove the domed lid and bring the base right to the table and serve from there. It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s communal and the cleanup is ridiculously simple. For me, it’s a new favorite as old as time.
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 pound baby potatoes, halved
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 8 cloves garlic
- 10 dried apricots
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 (3.5 ounce) packet Kitchens of India" brand Paste For Tikka Masala mixed with 1 cup warm water (Found at Sprout's)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
If you can't find the spice packet you can make your own!
- Heat Tagine in oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then, heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine either the paste packet or the spices. Clean chicken and pat dry. Rub or sprinkle paste or spices over the chicken. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the Tagine. Arrange chicken in Tagine. In a bowl toss together potatoes, tomatoes, garlic and apricots with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread veggies and apricots around chicken. Cover the Tagine with the lid and bake in the oven for about 1 hour. Check chicken for doneness (165 degrees internal temperature). Stir juices over top of chicken and vegetables. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve in the Tagine base.