A trip to Morocco means marvelous meals of Chicken Tagine! Find out how to make this mouth-watering recipe at home.

Photo By The Travelista via flickr.com

Photo By The Travelista via flickr.com

Before embarking on a two-week trip to visit my family in Morocco, my mind was swimming with daydreams of exotic cities, stunning landscapes and some serious shopping. Yet, for more reasons than one, it was the delicious cuisine of Morocco that I really couldn’t get off my mind!

The most widespread and signature dish of Morocco is Chicken Tagine, which gets its name from the clay dish and lid set that it’s cooked in. You may have seen one of these unusual looking vessels before at specialty stores, but in Morocco they line the walls of shops in the souks and frequent roadside stands as you travel between cities. The cone-like shape of the tagine is designed to direct condensation back into the dish, promising the most moist and succulent meats you could imagine.

While the tagine technique can be applied to lamb, beef, fish and more, it’s chicken that truly shines (and is my personal favorite). Chicken tagine is served throughout the electrifying coastal country, and while the cooking method and main ingredients are mostly standard, each city has its own twist on the Moroccan classic.

Huge Tagine

For instance, in Casablanca, where almost 15 of my aunts, uncles, cousin and grandmother live in the same four-story home, the chicken tagine stands out because of sheer size – it’s enormous! Because this tagine feeds so many, an assortment of root vegetables are used in the dish for sustenance. Think carrots, potatoes, chick peas and even pumpkin – which was surprisingly tasty!

On our trip to Rabat, we visited with a family friend who happens to own a few restaurants in the country’s capital city. We were treated to a tagine, but instead of chicken the dish was made with red snapper, which also worked perfectly thanks to the fish’s firmness and mild taste that perfectly absorbs the spices and flavors.

Chicken Tagine

Aside from the homemade chicken tagine that was served in Casablanca, it was on our trip to Marrakesh that we discovered the most delicious version of the dish. Sitting atop a rooftop restaurant overlooking the city’s Jemaa el-Fnaa square, we indulged in a traditionally prepared chicken tagine that was served in much smaller portions. Endless markets filled with fresh ingredients were likely to thank for the mouth-watering meal, and the striking setting made it all the more mesmerizing.

If you want to try to chicken tagine without traveling to Morocco, you’re in luck, because we found an authentic recipe straight from Marrakesh. If you don’t have a tagine, don’t worry, a heavy skillet, dish or pan can easily be substituted and used to deliver results that are just as delicious. Try out this recipe from Crawfish & Caramel and tell us what you think of chicken tagine in the comments below!

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Noelle Chehab is the Junior Editor of Spa Week Daily. 

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