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Spicy chicken tagine with apricots, rosemary and ginger

Ghillie Basan / 28 August 2019

This chicken tagine is both fruity and spicy, and the rosemary and ginger give it a delightful aroma.

Spicy chicken tagine with apricots, rosemary and ginger
Spicy chicken tagine with apricots, rosemary and ginger. Photography © Ryland Peters & Small

Cooking time

50 minutes




  • 2 tablespoons olive oil with a knob of butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, 1 finely chopped, the other 2 cut in half
  • A large thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1–2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 175g ready-to-eat dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons clear honey
  • 1 x 400g can of plum tomatoes with their juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A small bunch of fresh green or purple basil leaves


This chicken can be made with chicken joints or pigeon breasts, pheasant or duck, and needs only a buttery couscous and a leafy salad to accompany it.

Heat the oil and butter in a tagine or a heavy-based casserole. Stir in the onion, chopped rosemary, ginger and chillies and sauté until the onion begins to soften.Stir in the halved rosemary sprigs and the cinnamon sticks.

Add the chicken thighs and brown them on both sides. Toss in the apricots with the honey, then stir in the plum tomatoes with their juice. (Add a little water if necessary, to ensure there is enough liquid to cover the base of the tagine and submerge the apricots.)

Bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 35–40 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Shred the larger basil leaves and leave the small ones intact.

Sprinkle them over the chicken and serve the dish immediately.

The Modern Tagine Cookbook by Ghillie Başan, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£9.99)

Visit our Middle Eastern recipe section for more delicious Arabic recipes


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.