Spicy Chicken Tagine

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This spicy harissa chicken tagine is the answer to your boring “what’s for dinner!” question. Plus it spices up any ol’ Monday, don’t you think?


E and I are, officially, saving up to buy a house. This not only makes me feel very adult, but it’s also the most exciting prospect in all of the land. As much as I love the townhome to which we currently reside, we’ve already completely outgrown this two-bedroom, one-bath unit. As much as I try to hide how much stuff we have, our closets are, quite literally, busting at the seams and we have things toppling over on us constantly. That and one bathroom? No thank you. I could fill just one bathroom alone with all of the hair products I use and fancy hand towels I have.


I do like the kitchen, but it’s more than half the size of the one I used to cook in. And if you’ve ever been to my house, you know I have 15,000 different props, 4 blenders, 2 kitchen aid mixers, 3 food processors, 4 coffee makers…such things don’t fit into the confines of a 250 square foot kitchen. That and there are only wall units for AC (hello, 1939) and really old-school heaters, so the house never actually cools down or warms up, which is tricky in both August and January.

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With all of the things that I don’t love about it, I’ll truly miss this little nugget we’ve started to call home. For one, it’ll always be the place that rescued us from the hellish “fire” apartment. We came here at a time in our life when we were broken, sad, scared and traumatized. This place made us feel safe and comfortable again. Places really do have the ability to help you forget what you’ve been through, and this little townhome did that and more for us. For the first time since we moved from our first little rental house, we finally felt like we had a place we could settle for a bit.

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The location is also incredible. We live right across the bridge from a bustling little annex of Arlington that has rows of shops, restaurants and bars. Plus, I can walk to the grocery store, which does wonders for my waist and wallet. We also live near two of the main highways, so getting anywhere is easy. Well, as easy as it can be in Northern Virginia. That and there are tons of young couples, dogs and families near us, which make it seem like a great place for mid-late twenty somethings.


Honestly though, I’m so incredibly excited for this next big step. I’ve been on the go for the past 2 years, and it’ll be amazing to have a place that we can stay in for more than 1 year. A little piece of real estate that we can make ours completely. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the three top contenders I’ve found all have open kitchens, 3+ bedrooms and a swimming pool.

Spicy Chicken Tagine Thighs

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Serves about 4. Adapted from Spiceame Cooks.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: About 90 minutes


  • 3 pounds chicken thighs, skin-on and bone-in
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 – 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons spicy red harissa
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Morrocan seasoning
  • 2/3 cup olives, pitted*
  • About 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • Chopped herbs for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks and garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until onions start to sweat and garlic is fragrant. Add in the chicken and mushrooms. Cook another 3 – 4 minutes, or until the skin starts to brown on each side of the chicken. Mix in the harrisa and liberally coat the vegetables with the spicy paste.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add in chicken broth, water, Moroccan seasoning, salt and cracked pepper. Toss in olives and stir to coat.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is fully cooked inside (165 degrees F in the center).
  5. Serve over cooked quinoa with chopped herbs.

Nutritional information per serving (1/2 cup quinoa + 1 chicken thigh):

Calories: 300
Fat: 11.75 grams
Carbohydrates: 22.5 grams
Fiber: 6.8 grams
Protein: 19.5 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 6

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  1. Monday, August 4th, 2014
    Oh gosh. I love anything with harissa and this looks amazing. Chicken thighs for the win!
  2. Monday, August 4th, 2014
    I've always been a little nervous about chicken thighs. I'm more of a white meat breast kind of person but these look too good to resist!
  3. Posted by RavieNomNoms on
    Monday, August 4th, 2014
    This looks so great!
  4. Posted by Ginny McMeans on
    Monday, August 4th, 2014
    Looks wonderful and I have got to try that harissa!
  5. Monday, August 4th, 2014
    Any recipe that begins with the word "spicy" is sure to be a hit at our house! Looks delicious!
  6. Monday, August 4th, 2014
    I could definitely use some "spicing up" this Monday!! Looks wonderful!
  7. Monday, August 4th, 2014
    Wow, does this ever look tasty! Thanks for the dinner idea:)
  8. Monday, August 4th, 2014
    This chicken tagine dish looks incredible! I am in total agreement! I NEED a big kitchen for all my appliances, props, etc.! Good luck and I hope you find your dream house!
  9. Monday, August 4th, 2014
    YUM! I love spicy and this looks fantastic!
  10. Monday, August 4th, 2014
    Congrats on the house prospects! So exciting. I will celebrate for you by eating allll of this chicken. :)
  11. Posted by Lora @cakeduchessa on
    Monday, August 4th, 2014
    This would be a bit spicy for the kiddos so I would have to make it just for me! Love this, Claire!
  12. Posted by Meseidy on
    Monday, August 4th, 2014
    Can I just say harissa all the food!
  13. Monday, August 4th, 2014
    I'm feeling better about owning 2 coffee makers. This tagine looks amazing.
  14. Posted by Brenda@SugarFreeMom on
    Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
    Congrats on house hunting, so exciting! This chicken looks divine!
  15. Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
    Congratulations on your next big life adventure! Buying a house is such a huge step but with all the stress that comes with it....it's always totally worth it.
    Your chicken thighs look amazing....and comforting. Perfect for those chilly nights that are right around the corner.
  16. Posted by Debi on
    Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
    That sounds fantastic. I love spicy chicken thighs
  17. Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
    yayyy for finding prospective places to call home - i bet its an amazing feeling. i love tagine and have wanted to get those tagine from williams sonoma so many times, maybe when i have house someday i will invest in that..
  18. Posted by Connie | URBAN BAKES on
    Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
    I've never had harissa. Must try it because this looks good!
  19. Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
    I am so excited for you on this new journey - open kitchens - love! This recipe looks amazing!
  20. Posted by Nutmeg Nanny on
    Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
    Hooray for houses! I hope you find one soon :) This dish needs to find its way to my kitchen. It looks amazing!
  21. Thursday, August 7th, 2014
    I used to live in Arlington and from the sounds of it I may have been in the same neighborhood as you! I miss it down there so much.

    This tagine looks great. I'm obsessed with harissa!