Moroccan Chicken & Lentils is a flavour packed, but simple stew. Tagine is another name for this dish. It's also the name of the cooking vessel that you use if you are cooking this in Morocco, or any North African country. I don't own a tagine. Which I hope to remedy soon. But, lacking a tagine, I'm cooking these chicken and lentils in a dutch oven.
What's a Tagine?
A tagine is a two-piece cooking vessel, with a wide, shallow base and a cone-shaped lid. Traditional tagines were made from clay. The cone shape traps steam inside and allows the ingredients to be basically slow-cooked in steam. So really, do I need one? A dutch oven will do the same thing. But, a tagine is just so cool looking, right?. And I don't have one. Not having a kitchen gadget is crazy-making for me. I love to try every method and gadget there is, so when I know I don't have one, I'm coveting. If you aren't familiar with tagine cookware, check it out on kitchn
North African Flavours
But anyway, back to the dutch oven. This simple Moroccan chicken & lentils dishwill make your mouth sing. The flavour of North Africa is delicious and unforgettable. Harrisa is the key spice blend in this dish, and you can usually find it in the store. Harissa is a blend of chillies, cumin, coriander, garlic, cinnamon, and turmeric. You can also find harissa in a paste form.
You only need one pot for this delicious dinner. Coconut milk is not a traditional ingredient. Usually, chicken stock is the liquid in this chicken and lentil dish, but I liked the idea of simmering the ingredients in coconut milk for the extra depth of flavour that totally complements the spices in this dish. You can change the coconut milk for chicken stock and this will be a little less rich, but just as good.
This beautifully flavoured chicken & lentil stew is simple to make and a delicious new way to put dinner on the table with just one pot.
Moroccan Chicken & Lentils
- 2 tbs peanut oil
- 3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless cut into quarters
- Salt & pepper
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon harissa spice blend
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 400 ml can light coconut milk
- 1 796 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup red lentils rinsed
- 1 cinnamon stick*
- 1 small acorn squash peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- In a dutch oven or large pot, heat oil over medium high.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper
- Add chicken to the pot, and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes
- Add onion and garlic, cooking until softened, about 2 minutes
- Stir in harissa spice, cumin, and turmeric. Cook, stirring, until fragrant.
- Stir in coconut milk, crushed tomatoes, cinnamon stick, lentils, and squash
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer about 20 minutes, until lentils and squash are tender
- Remove cinnamon stick. Serve hot, garnished with mint