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Home > Restaurants > Recipes > Chicken Tagine With Plums and Spices

Chicken Tagine With Plums and Spices

Provided by: Chef Eric Ripert
Served at: Le Bernardin

  • Type of Dish: Main Courses
  • Servings: 4
  • Cuisine: North African, French
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review

Photo by William Meppem
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1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large chicken, cut into eight pieces
Fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder (optional)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger or powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon, rind only, flesh discarded (available from Kalustyan’s or Dean & DeLuca's)
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
4 prune plums, quartered and stones removed
1 ½ cups chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons almond slivers, toasted

2 cups chicken stock or water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 cups couscous
2 tablespoon dried blueberries
2 tablespoon dried cranberries


Bring the chicken stock and the butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the couscous and dried berries in a heatproof bowl, and pour the boiling stock over them. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 5 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Uncover, and toss lightly with a fork.

Place a tagine (or large heavy-bottomed casserole) at least 10 inches in diameter over high heat, and add the oil. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, place the chicken pieces skin-side-down in the pot. When the oil starts to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon each of the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and curry powder (if using) over the chicken. Cook until the chicken is golden brown, about 15 minutes. (Check regularly to make sure that the chicken is not sticking to the pan.)

Spread the onion, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes on a cutting board, and season generously with the salt and pepper. Add them to the tagine, covering the chicken. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander, cumin, turmeric, and curry powder. Add the lemon rind and chicken stock, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the plums and cook for a further 15 minutes or until chicken is tender. (It may take a little longer if you’re using a tagine.)

To serve, place about 1/2 cup of couscous on each plate, top with a few pieces of chicken, and spoon some cooking liquid and vegetables over each plate. Garnish with almond slivers.

(Published 2003)