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Quick Tangine-Style Chicken


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed beneath the flat of your knife with the heel of your hand, discard skins

  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large bite-size pieces

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick) or coarse salt and coarse pepper

  • 2 medium or 1 large yellow skinned onion, quartered and sliced

  • 10 pitted prunes, coarsely chopped

  • 1-ounce box or 1/4 cup golden raisins

  • 2 cups good quality, low sodium chicken stock, available in paper containers on soup aisle

Spice blend:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika, eyeball it

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, eyeball it

  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric, eyeball it

  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, a couple pinches


  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

  • 1 1/2 cups couscous

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it

  • 2 scallions, finely chopped


  • Chopped cilantro leaves or flat-leaf parsley

  • Finely chopped scallions

  • Mango chutney, any variety and brand -- available on the condiment or International food aisles


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, in a slow stream, and add smashed garlic. Season the chicken with seasoning blend. Scatter chicken around the pan in an even layer. Cook chicken pieces 2 minutes on each side to brown, then add the onions, prunes, raisins and stock. Mix spices in a small dish and scatter over the pot. Cover and reduce to moderate heat. Cook 7 or 8 minutes, remove the lid and stir.

To prepare the couscous, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add couscous, extra-virgin olive oil and scallions and remove the couscous from the stove immediately. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork.

Uncover chicken and cook another 2 to 3 minutes to thicken slightly. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and serve chicken on a bed of couscous. Garnish with chopped cilantro and scallions. Serve with chutney.

Tidbit: Double or triple the recipe for spices and store in cool dry place.