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Kathleen 02-26-2012 07:57 PM

Cooking with a Tagine
2 Attachment(s)
I was able to use my Tagine today. To prepare, I sorted through oodles of recipe ideas. In the end, I basically just made it up as I went. Instead of preserved lemons, I used fresh. I like the fresh lemon flavor.

Basically, I set the Tagine on the heat diffuser on medium heat. Then I added a bit of olive oil - just enough to coat the bottom. I tossed in some cumin, ground ginger, lemon zest, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, and some finely diced onions. Then I added chicken halves to the mixture turning them once to coat. I placed lemon eighths on the chicken and covered the chicken with a handful of cilantro and parsley. In hindsight, I wish I had added a teaspoon of salt.

I covered the Tagine and let it cook on low heat for about an hour. During the last 10 minutes, I added a handful of un-pitted olives. We had it with herbed couscous (from a box) and citrus salad.

The skin was rather sticky, but made the chicken falling-off-the-bone moist. Since the chicken skin does not brown, we removed it before eating. Tagines use minced onion to thicken the sauce but I opted for less onion so the sauce was thin. I really wanted it to more or less flavor the chicken anyway. I'll make it again. Here are before and after pictures!

The best part: The Tagine cleans up fast!

PrincessFiona60 02-26-2012 08:03 PM

Oh Yum! Now that's some lemon chicken!!!

Kathleen 02-26-2012 08:11 PM

It had a terrific lemony flavor between the zest and the rest of the lemon. Mmm.

PrincessFiona60 02-26-2012 08:14 PM

I can almost smell it...

DaveSoMD 02-26-2012 09:07 PM

Mmmmmm YUM!

lyndalou 02-27-2012 07:43 AM

That looks beautiful.

FrankZ 02-27-2012 10:01 AM

This was very tasty...

I took a nap and then had a wonderful dinner ready to go... I musta been dreaming.

Margi Cintrano 02-27-2012 10:03 AM

Tangier Cuisine: Tagine
Your chicken lemon recipe looks delightful ... shall have to try it ...

When I had gone over to Tangier, it is only 14 kilometres from Tarifa, Cádiz, Spain, via ferry; we had it at a lovely restaurant, and the Chef gave me his Tagine Sea Bass recipe ...

I have made tagine with sea bass ... it is stunning ...

I am going to try your´s with chicken ... I have also had Lamb Tagine.

M.C. - thanx so much for posting. lovely

forty_caliber 02-27-2012 04:47 PM

It's obvious from the shape that a Tagine is not your average clay baker. What advantages are there? Why is it different?


Merlot 02-27-2012 05:43 PM

The pictures are beautiful Kathleen! :smile:

FrankZ 02-27-2012 06:06 PM


Originally Posted by forty_caliber (Post 1112877)
It's obvious from the shape that a Tagine is not your average clay baker. What advantages are there? Why is it different?


The discussion I have read indicates you can slow cook with very little water. In the regions this is done, that is important.

I tease Kathleen that this is a stove top crock pot. :cool:

It does look nicer than the Rival Crock Pot we have though.

Kathleen 02-27-2012 06:50 PM


Originally Posted by forty_caliber (Post 1112877)
It's obvious from the shape that a Tagine is not your average clay baker. What advantages are there? Why is it different?


I'm in no way an expert, but I will share what I've heard. I first encountered a tagine when I went to a Moroccan restaurant. The food was amazing. I was never able to recreate the texture or flavor with other pots. I was intrigued by the tagine for the food and because of its unique shape.

I was also intrigued because it was clay. I had a ceramic bean pot from my grandmother, but never used it to make more than baked beans. Plus, it is very old so I was always leery of the glaze or type of clay. (It is important to be sure that the tagine only uses food-safe clay or glazes.) Like all clay pots, supposedly the clay contributes to the flavor of the dish. The clay has to be seasoned prior to its use. It is NOT a stove-top crockpot no matter what Frank says! :lol: A better comparison would be to a clay/ceramic cazuela or even perhaps a Dutch oven, but the dishes typically just cook over a heating source. (Because my stove is so very old, I bought a 3 dollar heat diffuser less there were significant hot spots even though I read I did not need to do this.)

As mentioned, the lid is cone-shaped. This causes the top to stay cool during cooking. Very little water is used because the moisture in the pot condenses during the cooking and drips over the food in a continual self-basting way. Because of the design, the top "knob" on the pot stays cool during cooking.

The typical recipes for Tagines are said to have Mediterranean influences, and vessels like them are said to have been used in ancient Rome. It takes very little time to assemble the tagine to ready for cooking. A bit of oil, then whatever else you want. (I mixed the onions and oil and spices. The rotated my chicken halves in that, and covered it with lemons and herbs. Prep time, less than ten minutes.) As it cooks, there is no stirring or mussing with it. I added olives during the last ten minutes just to heat them up.

Basically, a tagine cooks by braising so the moist heat makes typically cheaper cuts of meat super tender. You can cook the meat, veggies, fruits, etc. in the same pot so clean up is easy. (Use bigger cuts to let it cook longer to get more flavor!) Clean up is a snap. One pot that sponges clean in a heartbeat.

In a nutshell, it is a snap to make a full meal in one pot that is flavorful and uses only a bit of fat/oil. Plus, it is fun and delicious! :yum:

Kathleen 02-27-2012 07:23 PM

Thank you all for your positive comments! :smile:

Margi, do you have a mixed seafood recipe for a tagine?

forty_caliber 02-27-2012 09:11 PM

Thanks for the great explanation. I'll have to try one of these someday.

When you mentioned that, " Because of the design, the top "knob" on the pot stays cool during cooking", it gave me a practical insight to how this device might have been used in more ancient times...move the handle further away from the fire so you can pick it up with your hands.

Climate would have also played a factor. Not much fun cooking in front of a roaring fire in the heat of the dessert so concentrate the heat from a smaller fire to cook your food.


TATTRAT 02-27-2012 09:20 PM

One of my favorite cooking methods, and always makes for a stunning presentation! thanks for sharing!

FrankZ 02-27-2012 09:52 PM


Originally Posted by forty_caliber (Post 1113008)
Thanks for the great explanation. I'll have to try one of these someday.


If you pick one up be sure you get one that is for cooking and not just serving.

Margi Cintrano 02-28-2012 05:12 AM

Kathleen: Tagine made with Sea bass
Yes, I do have the recipe ... I shall post it this evening under Ethnic Recipes. Unfortunately, I am not home ( at magazine office ) ... It is a traditional recipe that I obtained on a trip to Tangier, 14km from Tarifa, Spain ( ferry ) last year ... I have made it at home, and it is lovely ... simple ... Need great quality firm white fish ...

Thanx for posting ur chicken lemon tagine.

Margi Cintrano 02-28-2012 05:18 AM


I would like to mention that Sea Bass is the primary ingredient for coastal tagine dishes in Tangier, a major port city ...

In other words, like paella, on the coast, sea bass and prawns are the predominate ingredients and in the interior of Morocco, chicken or lamb tagines. Tagine was developed in Tangier, a port city.

It is more typical for cous cous in the interior and Marrakesh.

Like paella, the shellfish variety is prepared on coast and in the mountains, the game and rabbit variety with a broad bean or fava bean.

However, all along the coast, fish and shrimp are more popular amongst tourists as well ...


Kathleen 02-28-2012 10:59 AM

I cannot wait to see the recipe!!! Thanks!

I'm looking for new things to try in the Tagine.

Margi Cintrano 02-28-2012 11:31 AM

Tangier: Charmoula Marinade - Fish Tagine
@ Kathlee, Ciao, Buenas Tardes,

The majority of fish and shellfish tagines in Tangier and Tétouan, both Morocco´s gastronomic meccas, reflect the ancient and centuries - historic inter.cultural exchange between the Moroccan and the Spanish cultures with an exchange of ingredients ...

The key to a good fish and shellfish tagine is the CHARMOULA which is a marinade of the following ingredients: saffron threads, smoked paprika, cumin, cilantro fresh, garlic, fresh parsley, lemon juice and turmeric ...

Fish Tagine: ( 4 servings )

1/ 2 cup olive oil
1/4 chopped fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves chopped
3 tblsps cilantro herb
1 tblsp Smoked sweet Paprika ( Spanish La Vera if you can - Latin Grocery )
2 tsps tumeric
1/8 tsp saffron threads

4 fillets of sea bass or other white firm fish
1 1/2 dozen large shrimp or Langoustines ( an Atlantic Iberian large prawn )
1/8 pound carrots peeled and thinly sliced
2 large onions minced
2 lemons thinly sliced
salt ( 1 tsp )
3/4 tsp ground blk pepper
1 medium sized red bell pepper - cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 medium sized green Italian horn shaped pepper - cut into slim strips
24 Kalamata Olives or similar type
1 medium sized golden yellow bell pepper cut into 1/4 inch strips
3 tomatoes deseed, peel and chop finely

*** Serve with Moroccan Harissa Dip ( see recipe below )

1) put the first 7 ingredients in medium bowl and add fish and shrimp.
Marinade for 2 hours, turning occasionally.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit.

3) In the Tagine ( the clay earthware vessel employed for this dish with a cover ): layer the tagine bed with 2 tblsps of olive oil extra virgin, tomatoes, half the onion, and half the lemon juice over.

4) then season with salt and pepper

5) drain fish and langoustines or shrimp from marinade ( reserve marinade to be used at end - to pour over entire contents and cover tagine )

6) arrange the peppers, carrot and other veggies and then place the fish and prawns on top ... For each layer, sprinkle a few herbs and garlic minced and onion minced and a drop of salt.

7) top the fish with the red pepper, green and gold strips ... and the olives.

8) pour marinade over and bake for 30 to 35 minutes ...

9) Do not put in the prawns until the last 5 minutes, or they shall be too over done and chewy.

10) bake until fish is flakey and tender --- and vegetables are tender ... might require another 15 minutes on 400 degrees farenheit.

11) I always sauté my prawns in E.V. Olive Oil with garlic and tent to keep warm ... I would serve on side and not put in tajine ---


1 cup chopped finely cilantro
1 cup chopped finely parsley
1/4 cup red chili pepper ( deseed ) or use dried flakes - a pinch or 2
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 minced garlic
1 tsp cumin ground
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 cup water

Combine all in food processor or a blender and refrigerate for 1 hour ...

SERVE WITH: glass of Prosecco or Cava or Sparkling White Wine

Margaux Cintrano.

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