This is a Moroccan Chicken tagine inspired stew. The traditional tagine is made using preserved lemons and slow cooked for hours to yield a rich gooey texture. This is a much faster pressure cooked version in an Instapot, but you can also slow cook the recipe if you have the time to spare, either in an oven or in a slow cooker. Not too spicy, but infused with flavors of saffron and lemon, modified a little from the original, this stew is perfect easy comfort food. Serve over a bed of couscous or white rice or wipe it off the plate with some fresh Naan 🙂

For the marinade:

  1. 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. Juice of half a lemon
  4. Salt and paprika to taste

For the stew:

  1. 1½ pounds (or 750 gms) Chicken pieces/ cubes
  2. 2 Bay leaves
  3. 1 Star anise
  4. 4-5 Black Peppercorns
  5. 1 Tablespoon Butter or ghee
  6. 1 Tablespoon Ginger Garlic paste
  7. 2 medium Onions finely chopped or as a paste
  8. 1 cup chopped Tomatoes or tomato sauce
  9. 2 Tablespoons Tomato paste
  10. 1 cup chopped Carrots and green Peas
  11. 6-8 small Potatoes cubed or one large potato cubed
  12. ½ cup Olives
  13. 1 Teaspoon ground Ginger
  14. ¼ Teaspoon Paprika or Red Chili powder (adjust to your spice level, red pepper flakes work great also)
  15. 1 heaping tablespoon Cumin powder or 2 level tablespoons
  16. ½ Teaspoon Coriander powder
  17. ½ Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  18. ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon powder
  19. Few Saffron threads crushed
  20. Lemon zest from one lemon. I like this stew lemony so use the zest of another lemon if you need it
  21. Handful of parsley or cilantro
  22. 2 cups Chicken broth or stock
  23. Salt to taste

Preparation time:  About an hour

How to Prepare:

  • Mix the marinade and coat the chicken generously with it. Marinate for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.
  • Heat a heavy pan, spray with olive oil. Add chicken and cook for a minute on each side if the chicken pieces are small or 3 mins on each side if you are using large pieces/ thighs. Remove chicken and set aside.
  • Add butter/ ghee in the pan. Add the bay leaf, star anise, and peppercorns. Let that infuse for a minute. Add the onions. Fry until the onions start to brown. Add ginger garlic paste. Cook for a min, then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, all the vegetables. Cook for a 4-5 minutes. Now add all the spices. Add the chicken. Cook for another minute. Transfer everything to the cooker or Instapot (you can also do all the steps above directly in the cooker). Add the chicken broth. Pressure cook for 15 mins. Let the steam vent naturally.
  • Add chopped parsley and more lemon zest right before serving. I like to taste the olives and lemon, so I added more of both right before serving.