Chicken Tagine With Leeks and Carrots

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min
Serves: 4

Slowly braised but definitely party worthy, this tagine is perfect fare for a casual cold weather party. What’s more it’s very impressive whether served in an authentic tagine or your prettiest large platter. And please don’t forget it’s easy enough to do for a weeknight healthy comfort dinner.


3 lb (1.4 kg) whole chicken
8 bone-in chicken thighs
4 bone-in chicken breasts
1 cup (250 mL) orange juice
1 lemon
1 red onion thinly sliced
1 white onion
1 leek, large, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 tbsp (15 mL) liquid honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 cup (250 mL) green olives, pitted
1/2 - 1 cup (250 mL) Kalamata olives, pitted
1/3 cup (75 mL) dried apricots, chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) cumin, ground
1 tbsp (15 mL) paprika, ground
3/4 tsp (4 mL) ginger, ground
3/4 tsp (4 mL) cinnamon, ground
3/4 tsp (4 mL) allspice, ground
3/4 tsp (4 mL) turmeric, ground
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh mint, finely-chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh mint, roughly torn


1 Pull skin from the chicken and trim away any visible fat. If using a whole chicken, cut off wings and cut out backbone and use for making broth or soup. Cut legs into thigh and drumstick portions and breasts into 3 pieces each. Do the same if only using breasts.
2 Pour orange juice into a large wide saucepan. Either remove peel from the lemon using a zester or finely grate and add to the juice. Slice onion in half. Place cut-side down on a cutting board and thinly slice. Add to the juice, separating pieces as you add.
3 Slice off and discard the tough dark-green top and root end from the leek. Slice in half lengthwise, then fan out under running water to wash away any grit. Slice crosswise into 1 inch ( 2.5 cm ) pieces. Quarter carrots lengthwise, then slice into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces. Stir both into the orange-onion mixture along with honey and garlic. Scatter with olives and apricots. Place over medium heat. Cover and when it comes to a boil, reduce to low and simmer while preparing the spice mixture.
4 Stir all the spices and salt together. Place chicken in a large bowl. Sprinkle with about half the spices. Using your hands evenly rub over chicken. Stir the remaining spices into the simmering onion mixture.
5 Then submerge the spice-coated chicken, bone-side up, in the mixture. Adjust heat so mixture simmers. Cover and cook a half hour. Turn the chicken and stir vegetables. Push chicken back into the mixture again. Cover and continue simmering another 15 minutes, until chicken feels springy when touched or meat thermometer reads 165°F (74°C).
6 Slice lemon in half and squeeze juice from one half over top. Stir in. Then taste and add more juice if needed. Stir in the finely chopped mint. Serve over couscous or rice and scatter with the roughly torn mint.
7 If making ahead, prepare to the point of adding the lemon juice and mint. Refrigerate, covered, up to 2 days. After reheating, stir in the lemon juice and mint.