The best Moroccan chicken tagine I've ever had

Two things made my day today.

When I woke up this morning, there was a message on my phone from a friend who said someone she knew had seen my photo and this person had said I hadn’t aged a day since college.

College was quite a long time ago, so you can probably understand how such a message made me smile. 

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Then, mid-morning, I set to work making lunch for a French family coming over to catch up over the holidays.

Since the first evening of 2015, I’d had Morocco on my mind and this had inspired me to make my chicken tagine specialty for lunch today.

Tagine in the making

I’ve been wanting to make chicken tagine for about a week now, but I’d been holding back as the lemons I’d preserved for this dish were not quite ready.

Today, I decided to make the tagine anyway, even with half-preserved lemons, as I could not wait any longer, with Morocco so much on my mind.


I’d learned to cook a chicken tagine in Fes last June, on holiday in Morocco with the Travel Companion.

We’d stayed at the Palais Amani in Fes and the chef had given us a private cooking lesson one day.

At the Palais Amani in Fes

Ironically, on that lesson, it was the Travel Companion who had done more of the cooking as I’d been too busy taking photos of everything. But I’d absorbed enough to get a feel of how to make a tagine.

And then, like with all things in my life, I threw the recipe away after and made my own version.

I don’t like blueprints or following in other people’s footsteps, and I usually don’t like outsourcing creative things to other people, whether it is cooking, decorating my house, arranging flowers for a table or designing something.

This is the tagine we cooked in Fes
last July, living a Travelife.
We had it afterwards for lunch.


As for making a tagine, I know I like a thick sauce and a lot of it, and I also like a very crusty chicken. The preserved lemons are also key, and this is why I go through the trouble of preserving my own lemons.

I use these on almost everything.

And this morning, I made this tagine, as well as a lamb curry, and also some satay. The tagine was honestly the best I’ve ever had — at least in recent memory.


As usual, I was multi-tasking this morning as I did the cooking answering texts and emails, posting photos on Instagram, and also inviting two ambassadors and two very important business persons to a dinner I’m co-hosting on Sunday at Mr. Jaded’s house.

Everyone I’ve invited so far has said yes to dinner on Sunday, by the way, so I’m very pleased.



Then, to top it off, a chain message from a dear friend arrived on my Facebook In Box, asking me to forward a New Year feel-good message to nine other good female friends.

All of this was happening while I was cooking and setting up the buffet table. We also had kids coming, you see, so I figured that it would be fun to have a satay cooking station.

I bought this decorative tagine in Fes
to serve my tagine in after cooking


Someone who was watching me do something like fifteen things all at the same time said: “I don’t know why you do this to yourself.

He meant he didn’t know why I kept myself so busy.

Yup. I didn’t have to do any of these. We could have gone to a restaurant or I could have ordered take-aways, or hired a caterer. And I could have ignored the chain message for an hour or two.


“Best trip ever.”

Join the next Travelife to Morocco

April 18 – 27, 2015


But I’m so not the type to put life on hold as it’s so wonderful and fun, so I did all the 15 things at the same time, and was ready and relaxed by the time my friends walked through the door.

That was when we sat down to a wonderful lunch, and a truly excellent tagine I’m so proud of, on just another lovely Saturday in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.