Chicken and Walnut Tajine with Quince Paste

MarocBaba and I always come to a head when I start “playing” with a tajine.  To him there’s no messing with an original.  When I started to put this tajine together he thought it was another attempt on my part to make something new. But, I first saw this tajine in Paula Wolfert’s Food of Morocco.  The original calls for cut up quinces. I’ve never seen a quince in our markets and am sure they simply are not in demand here.  I did however have some quince paste from another recipe I had made.  The quince paste really worked beautifully.

I prepared this tajine in an unglazed clay tajine and think that it truly made the flavor that much deeper.  I’m not saying you couldn’t try this in a glazed tajine or even in a heavy pot but I just don’t think it will taste the same.  Be sure to cook this over low heat and watch a little more closely than other tajines.  The quince paste can dry up quickly.

Chicken and Walnut Tajine

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of chicken pieces
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of crumbled saffron threads
  • small handful chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp butter cubed
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3 tsp quince paste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Instructions

  • In the bottom of an unglazed clay tajine add the vegetable oil and turn heat to medium.
  • Finely chop the onion and crush 2 teaspoons of garlic (2-3 cloves). Add these to the tajine.
  • In a bowl mix together the salt, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, saffron threads, parsley and quince paste with enough water to create a paste.
  • Rinse the chicken and place in the spice paste, taking care that the chicken is coated.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the tajine along with any remaining marinade.
  • Pour in 1/4 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of cubed butter.
  • Cover the tajine and reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Allow to cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Check at the 1 hour, 1.5 hour and 2 hour mark and add a little more water if necessary.
  • The tajine is ready when the chicken is tender to the touch. There should still be liquid in the tajine.
  • Toasting Walnuts
  • In a skillet, add the walnuts and turn heat to medium-high.
  • When the walnuts begin to toast you will be able to smell the oils being released.
  • Stir the walnuts to make sure they don't burn.
  • Remove from the heat as soon as the walnuts begin to brown.
  • Top the tajine with toasted walnuts and serve immediately. This dish is traditionally eaten with crusty bread but could also be served on top of rice, barley or couscous.
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Comments

  1. Friend of Maroc says:

    Thanks for your website! My boyfriend is Moroccan (Im not) and I keep searching the Internet for recipes to give him a taste of back home. I have a tagine but think I’ll try this in my crockpot.

  2. I have been eyeing a certain tagine in a local cooking store. This recipe makes me want to run right out and buy it!

  3. Can you get quince at Festival Foods? If yes, where did you find it there?

  4. I find quince in my middle-eastern store. It’s a fall fruit, but finding it can be hit or miss. Never saw quince paste, though. This dish sound delicious!

    • You can try trader joe’s or whole food for quince paste – it’s often eaten to accompany cheese, so if you have a specialty cheese store or a grocery store with a good cheese selection around, they should carry it, too.

  5. That is hysterical about your husband. I made a tagine (in a Dutch oven, alas) that called for quince. After some research I found that they are fairly similar to apples, so that was my solution. I think my tagine was technically Algerian. I guess you better not tell MarocBaba I used the apples though! LOL…. This sounds delicious!

  6. tagine is something I want to absolutely buy for my kitchen but i know i wont use it much. but someday i will. The recipe looks so mouthwatering. I have never heard or used quince.where do you buy that paste? and what is it ?

    • marocmama says:

      A quince is a type of fruit – it’s hard to find them in the US unless you live in a large city of maybe California. Quince paste can be found in the specialty section of most grocery stores.

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