Butternut Squash Chicken Tajine

A tajine filled with bright butternut squash and chicken.

My Kitchen Groove

Have you ever lost your groove in the kitchen? Felt like cooking (and cleaning up after) was such a pain in the butt? Maybe there are those amongst us that feel this way all the time but for a food blogger this kind of mood is…odd.

My latest trip into the dinner doldrums stemmed from an empty nest. With our youngest playing football away in another city for the season, it was just the two of us. It was our first taste of ‘freedom’ but I had mixed feelings about not having the kids to cook for. Apparently my husband doesn’t count!

This Butternut Squash Chicken Tagine is made with a warming spice mixture called ras el hanout. Use an authentic traditional North African tajine or your regular method of braising. #tajine #onepan #chickentajine #butternutsquashchickentajine

New Toys Bring a New Perspective

One way to cure this culinary mood is to introduce a new toy or cooking method in the kitchen. It’s a great way to get those creative juices flowing!

This is a long story but let me just tell you that I waited a long time for a new stove. I had issues with the old oven racks collapsing because they didn’t fit in the oven properly. It kept me from cooking with really heavy or breakable vessel, like a tajine.

This Butternut Squash Chicken Tagine is made with a warming spice mixture called ras el hanout. Use an authentic traditional North African tajine or your regular method of braising. #tajine #onepan #chickentajine #butternutsquashchickentajine

What is a Tajine?

A tajine is basically a braising vessel. It has a conical lid that sits over top of a shallow earthernware dish and is primarily used in North Africa and the Middle East (where it is called a Maraq/Marqa). The unique shape of the lid traps condensation during cooking and recirculates it back into the food. This low liquid method of cooking is particularly useful in countries where water is scarce.

A Tajine Within a Tajine

Strangely enough, the stew cooked within a tajine is also called a tajine. This Butternut Squash Chicken Tajine contains several elements of a classic tajine. I used chicken as my main protein but goat, lamb, fish, or even pulses and legumes are popular options. Along with the proteins, other common ingredients are vegetables, nuts, dates, eggs, dried fruits and spices.

This Butternut Squash Chicken Tagine is made with a warming spice mixture called ras el hanout. Use an authentic traditional North African tajine or your regular method of braising. #tajine #onepan #chickentajine #butternutsquashchickentajine

Ras el Hanout

Speaking of spices, there are quite a few featured in this tajine but don’t let that deter you from trying this recipe. Just think of all the spices together as a mix. The common spices that make up this mix are usually referred to as ‘ras el hanout‘.

This Butternut Squash Chicken Tagine is made with a warming spice mixture called ras el hanout. Use an authentic traditional North African tajine or your regular method of braising. #tajine #onepan #chickentajine #butternutsquashchickentajine

The blend I made contained cinnamon, ground cumin, ground coriander, pepper, salt, turmeric, allspice, ginger, and cloves but there are many other spices that could be used. I also added saffron and cardamom so that brings my blend up to eleven spices.

This Butternut Squash Chicken Tagine is made with a warming spice mixture called ras el hanout. Use an authentic traditional North African tajine or your regular method of braising. #tajine #onepan #chickentajine #butternutsquashchickentajine

Such Brilliant Flavours

Ras el hanout contains many spices that are referred to as ‘warming’. Their flavours meld into the dish and play off the other flavours usually present. Preserved lemon or olives add a touch of saltiness while dates or dried fruits add a touch of sweet. In this tajine, sweet butternut squash contributes the sweet notes.

Pin it HERE.

This Butternut Squash Chicken Tagine is made with a warming spice mixture called ras el hanout. Use an authentic traditional North African tajine or your regular method of braising. #tajine #onepan #chickentajine #butternutsquashchickentajine

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Butternut Squash Chicken Tajine

If you make this Butternut Squash Chicken Tajine recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 6 servings

Butternut Squash Chicken Tajine

A tajine filled with bright butternut squash and chicken.

This Butternut Squash Chicken Tagine is made with a warming spice mixture called ras el hanout. Use an authentic traditional North African tajine or your regular method of braising.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • olive oil
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 onion; peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium tomato; seeded and diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 Tablespoons dried)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 whole cardamom pods; slightly smashed
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 8-10 whole coriander seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • Moroccan spice mix (ras el hanout)
  • 1 cup cracked green olives
  • 2 preserved lemons; finely julienned

Instructions

  1. Begin by adding olive oil to a pan. Season the chicken thighs and sear each side in the pan until browned. Remove from pan.
  2. Prepare the squash by peeling it, de-seeding it, and slicing into 2 cm cubes.
  3. Add a bit more oil and the sliced onions to the pan. Add half of the ras el hanout spice mixture.
  4. Sauté onions until softened, add the squash cubes. Sauté another 5 minutes.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, olives (if using) and chicken stock. Bring up to a boil.
  6. Add parsley and cilantro, cardamom pods, cloves, coriander seeds and saffron, if using.

OVEN METHOD

  1. Transfer to a tajine (or oven safe lidded pot like a Dutch oven) and bake in a 350 F oven for 45 minutes.
  2. Add julienned preserved lemon and cook 15-20 longer or until the chicken is tender.

STOVE TOP METHOD

  1. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender. Add preserved lemon and cook another 15 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 514Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 224mgSodium: 1172mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 44g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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5 comments

  1. Slow Cooked Pappardelle Bolognese - Dish 'n' the Kitchen

    […] food equals delicious. Take the time to fall in love with slow food classics like this Butternut Squash Chicken Tajine or grab a glass (or two) of wine while your oven works its magic on Red Wine Braised Beef Short […]

    Reply

  2. Lizzy

    This looks delicious and I am loving all of the spices in it! I have been meaning to preserve some lemons so maybe I can add those.
    Pinned it!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It really is a magical combination! Thanks for stopping by Lizzy.

  3. Elaine

    Wow, Bernice! I learned a lot! Looks delicious. I’ll bet your hubby loved it and your son will be sad he’s stuck on the football field and missing his mama’s cooking!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Hi Elaine, yes! It was so good they’ve already asked me to make it again. The tajine is a magic pot!

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