Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes (Does NOT have to be cooked in a tagine!)

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf - -

Moroccan Chicken and Sweet Potatoes --

Today it snowed almost all day long, so it was a perfect day to prepare a dish which simmers away in the oven, filling your kitchen with the scent of cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger!

I’m not proud to say I actually received my beautiful tagine as a gift LAST Christmas.  (I’ve told you I’m a procrastinator..)  There’s no excuse for waiting so long to ‘try it out’. It’s not as if I don’t see the tangine every day, sitting and waiting patiently on the lower shelf of the buffet in my kitchen…

tangine - kitchen buffet -

Moroccan Chicken Tagine can be be cooked several different ways; 1. In a tangine – cooked in the oven.  2.  In a tangine, cooked on very low heat on top of the stove.  3.  In a covered casserole – cooked in the oven.  4.  In a large saucepan or Dutch Oven – either in the oven (if pan has heatproof handles) or on top of the stove.

Whichever way you chose to cook Moroccan Chicken Tagine, you’re in for a treat.  And, except for frying up the onions and garlic in a skillet, you have a one pot meal with no mess in the kitchen. If you’re lucky enough to have a tagine, you can proudly present your Moroccan meal served right from your tagine.                

++  Tagines, according to my research, range in size from 8″ to 16″.  Actually, mine is only 7″ across at the base but it’s deep, so I was able to able to put in 8 boneless & skinless chicken thighs, plus 2 large cut-up sweet potatoes.

++ Be sure to learn how to use your tagine if you’ve never cooked with one before!  (The terracotta ones need special care.)   ++ Here’s a link to a great website which we could call “All You Ever Wanted to Know About Tangines” !

Love Moroccan? Here’s another recipe – plus Couscous with Raisins and Sliced Almonds

Moroccan Chicken and Couscous - My Yellow

‘Never Fail’ Armenian Rice Pilaf

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf - -

++ Start tagine in a cold oven

++ Place oven rack at 2nd lowest level. 

INGREDIENTS       Oven at 325 (F)      Cook for 2 hours.   If cooking on top of stove in a saucepan or Dutch Oven, be sure to just ‘simmer’ the tangine.

  • 6 – 8 boneless/skinless chicken THIGHS
  • 2 – 3 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into eighths.   ++  My tangine is small, so I only used 2 medium sweet potatoes.  They turned out soo yummy cooked this way that I plan to try to cram more in next time!! 
  •  2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced      ++  About 2 cups
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped   ++  Warm garlic cloves in microwave for 10 – 15 seconds, which helps remove papery covering on garlic cloves.
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander      ++  I used 1 tsp. minced fresh cilantro, which are the leaves of the same plant.  In fact, coriander comes from the seeds.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates    (You can purchase chopped dates – BIG time saver!)
  • 1 cup HOT chicken broth    ++  Can also use 1 CUP HOT water and one bouillon cube.


Arrange boneless/skinless chicken thighs in one layer on bottom of tagine.   ++  I folded the loose bits under, which looks a bit nicer and helps the chicken cook evenly.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine -

Put the following spices in a small dish or glass and set aside; 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 ground turmeric, 1 tsp. ground coriander (or 1 tsp. minced fresh cilantro), 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/4 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper.

Pour 2 Tbs. olive oil into a large skillet.  Add sliced onions and cook over medium heat until onions begin to brown a bit – between 5 to 6 minutes.

Add minced garlic.  Cook two to three minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Add the spices you’d set aside.  Stir to combine with the onions and garlic.  Cook one more minute, stirring.

Spread contents of skillet over chicken.

Moroccan Chicken Tangine - -

Make one layer of the peeled and cut-up sweet potatoes.  Sprinkle 1/4 chopped dates over potatoes.  Pour 1 cup HOT broth over all.

Moroccan Chicken  Tangine -

Cover on tagine.  Lower oven rack to second lowest level.  Place covered tagine in COLD oven.  Set temperature to 325F.

Cook for two hours.  ++  Chicken and sweet potatoes will be cooked after 1 1/2 hours but the extra 1/2 hour of cooking time REALLY makes the chicken thighs tender.  Enjoy !!

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf 2- -

Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner – Recipe No. 2 – Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy

Prepare ‘Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy’ TWO days ahead.

Brandy or bourbon can be used.  Your choice !!

Sweet Potatoes can be heated before serving in the oven   OR   in a slow cooker.

Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Bourbon is the 2nd in a series of 6 ‘make ahead’ recipes, all of which can be prepared – or prepped – a day or two ahead, which will help to make your busy life a bit easier!  By preparing a few dishes each night for two nights, all you’ll need to do the day of The Big Feast is roast the turkey, make the gravy and cook the green beans!

Everything was very casual the night I invited my friends to a ‘taste testing’.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner - My Yellow

My Yellow - Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner


  • Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

  •  Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon
  • Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onion

  • Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

  • Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges  & + Savory Turkey Gravy

  • Bonus Recipe – Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon

– – – – – –

I based my Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy on a family favorite featured every Thanksgiving in my daughter-in-law’s family.  My son M. is now ‘in charge’ of preparing the sweet potatoes every year and he does an excellent job. (‘Gum Gum’ – this post is dedicated to you with lots of love!)

The splash of brandy or bourbon isn’t truly necessary but it does lend a lovely balance to the sweetness of the dark Karo syrup and brown sugar.

Ingredients and Method

  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, scrubbed & rinsed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups DARK Karo Syrup
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs. butter  ++  Feel free to add more butter
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt – or to taste
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. brandy or bourbon
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans  ++ Sprinkle on top right before reheating 

Cut off small ends of sweet potatoes, cut potatoes in half and peel.

Place sweet potato halves into a large saucepan filled with enough cold water to cover potatoes. Add 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Sweet potatoes will NOT be fully cooked.  They’ll finish cooking in the oven.


Drain and allow to cool, then cut into 1/3″ slices.

While potatoes are cooling, prepare sauce. In a medium saucepan place Karo Syrup, brown sugar,  butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and 1 – 2 Tbs. brandy or bourbon.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Make Ahead Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Bourbon - My Yellow

Place sweet potatoes slices in a casserole.  Pour the sauce over the potatoes and mix to cover well with sauce.  Cover casserole with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate.


I have a small refrigerator in my cellar, so I was able to place all the ‘made-ahead’ dishes there.  You can always use a large cooler or two – just be sure to keep the temperature good and cold.

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow

About 40 minutes before you’re ready to reheat the potatoes, take the casserole out of the refrigerator to take the chill off.   With a large serving spoon, bring the potatoes on the bottom up to the top so they’ve all had ‘their time’ to sit in all that sugary/bourbony goodness.  Sprinkle with 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans.

Bake at 360 for about 40 minutes, without a cover, during which time you can allow your turkey to ‘rest’.

++Allowing cooked meat to ‘rest’ makes the meat juicer. Plus it’s often easier to carve – which means … no shredded turkey!

Happy Holidays to All – Enjoy!

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow