Chicken Tagine with Dried Figs & Sweet Potatoes…A One Pot Magic Carpet Sharable Meal

chicken tagine

Fall and Winter are my favorite times for what I call “real cooking”. Cooler days and nights call for warmer, cozy foods. I do so love the deep, darker colors of roasted meats and vegetables all nestled down in one pot with magic carpet spices & herbs…all the juices swirling together to create flavorful sopping with a chunk of crusty bread. This is how we like to eat in the fall and winter.

Words like “stews”, “braising”, “roasting” come to my mind this time of year as well as “tagine”. Tagine is both a type of casserole dish used in much North African cooking as well as types of recipes/stews using said dish. One day I am going to purchase a real tagine casserole dish, but in the meantime I make my recipe for “Chicken Tagine with Dried Figs and Sweet Potatoes” in a heavy, oven-safe pot and that works just fine. I got my beautiful “bird” from my CSA, Fresh Harvest. Below is “before” cooking……….


……this is “after”.


The dried figs plump up, the sweet potatoes soften…the juicy chicken is absolutely falling off the bone. Opening the lid conjures up distant lands as the aromas of coriander, turmeric and ginger waft up.

From Nashville to Morocco in a magic-carpet one-pot very sharable meal.  Bon Appetit (or “besseha” Arabic/Moroccan.)


Chicken Tagine with Dried Figs and Sweet Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • 1 whole chicken cut into quarters or 4 leg quarters
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 smashed garlic cloves
  • 3 tsp ground cumin seed
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large onion cut into large chunks
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled & cut into chunks
  • 12 whole dried figs
  • the juice and zest of one orange
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a skillet brown the chicken pieces in olive oil over medium high heat. Set aside.
  3. Place browned chicken pieces in the bottom of a large oven-safe pot with a lid.
  4. Evenly scatter over chicken pieces the smashed garlic cloves, cumin seed, coriander, ginger, turmeric cayenne pepper, black pepper & sea salt.
  5. Nestle the chunked onions & sweet potatoes and whole dried figs and orange zest under and around the chicken pieces.
  6. Gently pour the orange juice and chicken stock into the pot.
  7. Cover and bake for approximately 2 hours or until the chicken is falling-off-the-bone done.
  8. Raise oven temp to 375. Uncover pot and cook for another 20 minutes. Serve in bowls with thick slices of crusty bread for sopping. The flavors are sublime…the aroma transporting!

Note: This would be an excellent alternative for a Thanksgiving meal instead of turkey perhaps?

Teresa Blackburn

(This recipe is based on one I cooked years ago for the first time by food writer and cook, Crescent Dragonwagon. I have made changes to suit our palate.)


White Enamel Oven-safe Pot – TJMaxx

Linens – Ikea and my collection

Chicken – Organic whole hen from my CSA Fresh Harvest. Fresh Harvest/Locally Grown

31 thoughts on “Chicken Tagine with Dried Figs & Sweet Potatoes…A One Pot Magic Carpet Sharable Meal

  1. I like making recipes like this that are so perfect for fall! Tagines are always a weakness for me:) Great recipe and photos!

    1. Thank you Nance. I am in my dark and moody period..channeling Caravaggio and those Dutch masters….trying to make some more artistic food images. I so appreciate your comments.

  2. You have just changed my mind about how to prepare the chicken I’m planning on serving guests next week. Sure hope I can find figs.

    1. Lulu…most groceries have whole dried figs either where the other dried fruits are or in the natural food section. I got these at Trader Joes, but also have some good dried figs from Publix. Thanks and let me know how yours turns out. My daughter makes this in her crockpot as well and it always turns out so good no matter what the pot it is cooked in.

      1. Thanks Teresa. I’ll check Trader Joe’s and Costco, too. I like the idea of doing the chicken in a slow cooker.

  3. Your lyrical writing transported me to this exotic land and I could smell the enticing aroma of your tagine. Love that word and this dish, especially the golden edge on the casserole. Morocco is on the bucket list! I love that cuisine so much.

    1. As always Johanne thank you. I, too, love the way the edge of the pot turned that incredible golden brown and thankfully it was easy as pie to clean! I am pretty enthralled with the foods of North Africa and have it on my mind as a travel place as well.

    1. Yes Nicola dates and apricots would be divine as well. Julie at Hostess at Heart also suggested dried cherries. All divine sounding. I think I will have to make this dish again with all your suggested fruits this winter. Thanks so much.

    1. Oh gosh Jill that means so much to me as you encounter all the foods in the world in your magazine work. I adore you and thanks for leaving your nice comment and for stopping by Food on Fifth.

  4. I was gifted a tagine about 6 months ago Teresa when I agreed to host an Indian cooking night for a friend. I have yet to use the tagine, perhaps I’m afraid that it might break? I even have the recipe book that came with it and also some Moroccan spices. Looking at your recipe now has inspired me to dust off the cobwebs and have a go now that the warmer weather is here too. Great dish, wonderful flavors.

  5. Like you, I do think ‘real cooking’ is when I make curries, stews etc. as you are fully involved in the process and the end result is hearty and really delicious. Love tagines for the same reason. Yours looks delicious!

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