French Fridays with Dorie – Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes

Lowcountry Chicken Tagine

For how long can one hold to that ‘just came from vacation’ glow?  Even though it’s been little over a month since we came back, I am wishing I had more of it left over.  I didn’t realize how much I missed the places and the foods I enjoyed in Savannah and Charleston until I found myself reading through this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes.  While I enjoy the occasional prune and entrées “on the sweet side of the sweet-savory continuum” , I wasn’t feeling the combination of spices, honey, and fruit.  I wanted… bacon.  And collard greens.  And I wanted to be out of the kitchen in under an hour.  Dorie’s French-Morrocan chicken tagine was getting a Lowcountry makeover.

Chicken, bacon, sweet potatoes and onion

The chicken, bacon, sweet potatoes and onions were all cooked in the red Dutch-oven. The browned onion bits in the bottom made that jus.

Dorie says that the base for most tagines is cooking onions to the point where they melt.  I sweated my onions with about two ounces of bacon and a drizzle of olive oil for about ten minutes over medium heat.   To further reduce the cooking time, I used boneless chicken thighs instead of the whole chicken pieces and cut the sweet potatoes in a 1″ dice – the sweet potatoes went into the Dutch oven first to get them to absorb the bacon flavor and then I browned the chicken in there as well.  To add warmth to the dish (and not lose completely the ‘tagine spirit’), I  sprinkled about three shakes of ground cinnamon and added one extra pinch of cayenne pepper.  The bay leaf followed after adding the water and deglazing the bottom of the Dutch oven.  The collard greens went in ten minutes afterwards.  Since the thighs cook fairly quickly, the dish was ready after simmering for twenty five minutes.

I’m not even going to pretend to feel bad about ditching the saffron, star anise, chicken broth, honey and prunes from the original chicken tagine recipe.  We loved this version and I’m sure I will be making it again. I still wonder if the original recipe would win me over, so I’ll head out to check my fellow Doristas chicken tagines with sweet potatoes and prunes (and dates, apricots…).

Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes, Bacon and Collard GreensFrench Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking club where on a weekly basis, home cooks all over the world post their interpretations of a selected recipe from Around My French Table – Dorie Greenspan’s award winning cookbook. 

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

21 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie – Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes”

  1. Jean Marie
    October 26, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    I love your variation- looks delicious. We thought it was too sweet, with the prunes (although my husband is not a ‘fruit in my meat’ guy, so I already knew his opinion!)…..Can’t wait to try you version.

  2. October 26, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    I received a HUGE batch of collard greens in my CSA share this week. I would gladly make you a batch 🙂
    Love your adapted version. I am convinced Dorie would approve…
    Have a great weekend.

  3. October 26, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    That sounds delicious! Very different from the original, but that’s okay by me!

  4. October 26, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    I love the alteratons you made! My husband lobbied for adding bacon to ours, but it turned out we had none because someone had eaten the last of it with lunch! (oops) Maybe next time. Nice job!

  5. October 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Well, if you´re gonna change the recipe it might as well be bacon! Wonderful flavors with the sweet potatoes. Until the next vacation.

  6. Cakelaw
    October 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    Sounds like an interesting makeover! The only bad thing about holidays is that they end.

  7. October 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Yum! I approve of your makeover. Adding bacon to anything usually makes it better in my book!

  8. October 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Great variations. I like the changes you made to the dish. It looks wonderful.

  9. October 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    I’m not a big sweet in a savory dish kinda person.. so I really liked your low country version… bacon is always better.

  10. October 26, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    I love your makeover! And even in the original, I think using chunks of boneless things is an improvement on the original. Browning the skinless parts and then stewing them didn’t make sense to me. Nice job, and also a great way to extend your vacation glow.

  11. October 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    The next time I get collard greens in my CSA I will have to try your version of this. It sounds and looks fabulous.

  12. October 27, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    Interesting! A southern Tagine!! Guess those years in NOLA really rubbed off on you.

  13. October 27, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    What a delicious mix of flavors! This recipe – and your variation – looks like a winner.

  14. October 27, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Bacon and collard greens? Great substitutions!

  15. October 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Adriana, your variations sound delicious – I am so glad I am not the only one who left out those pitted prunes – the addition of collard greens must have been wonderful, flavor and color wise. And a bit of bacon never hurt anyone!

  16. October 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    You MUST try the original version… It’s very very good!

  17. October 28, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    the collards sound like a great addition, adding color and a good dose of healthy! I think it’s great that you took the dish in a personal and sounds like, delicious direction. nice!

  18. October 28, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    when you’re feeling up to it, you should try the original recipe, its pretty special 🙂

  19. October 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Michael and I lived in Charleston for 6 months while I went to the local college to study historic preservation. Anytime you want to take a dish “Lowcountry”, you have my approval. Your sorta-tagine photographed much prettier than any of ours because of the greens on top. My picture was rather bland, I think, although I loved the tagine just as Dorie suggested. When you’re in the mood again, try the original version. You will like that too, I think.

    November 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    Believe it or not I have never made a tagine and I think maybe in the winter I will try it. Lovely version. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours…Un abrazo!

  21. December 13, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    We really enjoyed this dish, but your version sounds perfect for the sort of weather we’re having here now.

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