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Chicken Tagine With Leeks and Carrots

Slowly braised but definitely party worthy, this tagine is perfect fare for a casual cold weather party. What’s more it’s very impressive whether served in an authentic tagine or your prettiest large platter. And please don’t forget it’s easy enough to do for a weeknight healthy comfort dinner.
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 min


3 lb whole chicken
8 bone-in chicken thighs
4 bone-in chicken breasts
1 cup orange juice
1 lemon
1 red onion thinly sliced
1 white onion
1 leek, large, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 tbsp liquid honey
1 tbsp garlic, minced
½ - 1 cup green olives, pitted
½ - 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
⅓ cup dried apricots, chopped
1 tbsp cumin, ground
1 tbsp paprika, ground
¾ tsp ginger, ground
¾ tsp cinnamon, ground
¾ tsp allspice, ground
¾ tsp turmeric, ground
¾ tsp salt
½ cup fresh mint, finely-chopped
½ cup fresh mint, roughly torn

Food Safety

Before you start, wash all surfaces and your hands with soap and warm water, and remember to wash your hands, utensils and cutting boards after they touch raw meat or eggs. Avoid cross-contamination by using a different cutting board for your meat and other ingredients. Make sure you’re cooking to safe temperatures and chilling any leftovers within two hours. For more food safety tips, visit our Food Safety at Home Section.


  1. Pull skin from the chicken and trim away any visible fat. If using a whole chicken, cut off wings and cut out backbone and use for making broth or soup. Cut legs into thigh and drumstick portions and breasts into 3 pieces each. Do the same if only using breasts.

  2. Pour orange juice into a large wide saucepan. Either remove peel from the lemon using a zester or finely grate and add to the juice. Slice onion in half. Place cut-side down on a cutting board and thinly slice. Add to the juice, separating pieces as you add.

  3. Slice off and discard the tough dark-green top and root end from the leek. Slice in half lengthwise, then fan out under running water to wash away any grit. Slice crosswise into 1 inch ( 2.5 cm ) pieces. Quarter carrots lengthwise, then slice into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces. Stir both into the orange-onion mixture along with honey and garlic. Scatter with olives and apricots. Place over medium heat. Cover and when it comes to a boil, reduce to low and simmer while preparing the spice mixture.

  4. Stir all the spices and salt together. Place chicken in a large bowl. Sprinkle with about half the spices. Using your hands evenly rub over chicken. Stir the remaining spices into the simmering onion mixture.

  5. Then submerge the spice-coated chicken, bone-side up, in the mixture. Adjust heat so mixture simmers. Cover and cook a half hour. Turn the chicken and stir vegetables. Push chicken back into the mixture again. Cover and continue simmering another 15 minutes, until chicken feels springy when touched or meat thermometer reads 165°F (74°C).

  6. Slice lemon in half and squeeze juice from one half over top. Stir in. Then taste and add more juice if needed. Stir in the finely chopped mint. Serve over couscous or rice and scatter with the roughly torn mint.

  7. If making ahead, prepare to the point of adding the lemon juice and mint. Refrigerate, covered, up to 2 days. After reheating, stir in the lemon juice and mint.

Helpful Tip

To cook in a traditional clay “tagine” pot, soak the pot in water for about an hour before using. Then follow the recipe up to the end of point three. Put the chicken in the tagine, bone-side down, covering the bottom as much as possible. Mound the hot leek-carrot mixture over the chicken, covering it as best you can, then pour the liquid overtop. Add the tagine top and bake in a 325°F (160°C) oven for 30 minutes. Turn chicken and stir vegetable mixture. Cover and bake another 20 to 30 minutes until chicken will feel springy when pressed. Follow directions in point 6 for finishing the dish.

Nutrition Info

Per serving Amount
Protein25 g
Fat9 g
Saturated Fat2 g
Carbohydrate26 g
Fibre5 g
Cholesterol84 mg
Sodium765 mg
Per serving % Daily Value
Vitamin A83
Vitamin C58
Vitamin B1215