April 12, 2019

Tagine Of La Kama Chicken With Apricots and Spinach

Recipe: Doug Penfold

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

If you don’t have a tagine, the best alternative is a wide and shallow Dutch oven or sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid. And if you’re using an alternate pan, that pan can be used for the earlier frying steps. In his spice mix, Doug Penfold uses cubeb, or comet’s tail peppercorns, which have an amazing flavor but are very hard to find. You can buy cubeb in Toronto at The Spice Trader, online, or you can just use black pepper.


La Kama Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground white pepper
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp ground cubeb or black pepper
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg


  • 1⁄4 cup full-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp La Kama Spice Mix
  • 1 1⁄2 lbs. chicken thighs, boneless, skin-on


  • 1⁄2 cup dried apricots, packed
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Cinnamon stick (2″ piece)

For Tagine

  • Pinch saffron
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • 2 cups sliced red onion
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp La Kama Spice Mix
  • 3⁄4 cup water, divided
  • 1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted


Yield: Serves 4

Plan Ahead

  1. Marinate chicken for 4 hours, overnight

Make Spice Mix And Prepare Chicken

  1. In small bowl, combine spice mix spices. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, combine yogurt and 2 tablespoons of La Kama Spice Mix. Place chicken in sealable bag or bowl, add yogurt mixture and massage meat well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or, ideally, up to one day. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Cook Apricots

  1. In small pot over medium heat, combine apricots, orange juice, sugar, butter and cinnamon.
  2. Bring to simmer, turn to medium-low and cook for 12 minutes, or until apricots are soft and plump, and liquid is reduced to a syrup. Discard cinnamon stick. Set aside.

Fry Chicken And Onions

  1. In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of hot water with saffron. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large frying pan over high heat. Season chicken with salt. Add chicken pieces, skin-side down, and fry for 2 minutes, or until skin is golden. Turn and fry for 2 more minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. To pan add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and onions. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring to incorporate any browned bits in pan, for 18 minutes, or until onions are caramelized.
  4. Add garlic and 2 tablespoons of La Kama Spice Mix, and sauté for 1 more minute.

Finish Cooking

  1. In base of tagine or Dutch oven, combine onion and apricot mixtures, saffron liquid, remaining 2⁄3 cup of water, cilantro and parsley.
  2. Heat over medium-low heat until mixture is simmering.
  3. Add chicken. Turn heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Remove lid and fold in spinach until just wilted.
  5. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and serve with couscous.

Maya Visnyei


House & Home March 2019