I mistakenly purchased boneless, skinless chicken thighs yesterday. I planned a sheet pan dinner but these would dry out in the oven. Rather than pop them in the freezer I prepared a slow cooker tagine. (A tagine is a Moroccan or Tunisian style stew. The spices are its signature.)
I prepped all of it last evening, added the chicken this morning, turned the slow cooker on for an eight hour braise and walked out the door.
It is a treat for me to come home to the aroma of supper on the table. After a busy day of substitute teaching at a Hutterite Colony 30 minutes out of town and then a quick stop to pick up a shipment of foraged foods at the bus depot I opened my front door. A smile broke out on my face as I inhaled the aroma of mellowed spices and remembered the meal waiting for me.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine with Chickpeas
Feel free to adjust the amount of spices. There are so many variables, for example the freshness of your spices will dictate how much to use. My spices are relatively fresh and strong. If you don't like cayenne, leave it out. But don't be too cautious. These spices really make the meal.
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium sized yellow onion. coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. flour
drizzle of olive oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 c. chicken stock
2 c. cooked or canned chickpeas
3 medium carrots, cut into larger chunks
1 c. canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/2 preserved lemon, rinsed and coarsely chopped
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add spices and heat until aromatic. Add flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in chicken stock. Cook for a couple of minutes until slightly thickened.
Add tomatoes, chickpeas, apricots, carrots and lemon.
Transfer to slow cooker. Cover until ready to cook. Add chicken thighs, cut in larger pieces, and stir to coat with the sauce. Turn on to an 8 hour slow cook. Serve with steamed couscous.
You can find my recipe for preserved lemons here.