I am writing this as I’m eating last night’s squash curry and I really can’t help but share my love for all things pumpkin and squash in this season. It is just so versatile and goes so well with a big array of dishes and spices in general. So in spirit of my current craving for comfort food and stews, today I’m sharing this lovely tagine that requires very little faff. This is perfect for a weekend dinner, though you can make it during the week if you have more time as well.

Those of you who follow my instagram will know that I had a bit of drama with my freezer a couple of weekends ago which prompted a cookathon of defrosted foods… including a fair bit of chicken, lamb, mince and so on. This is one of the dishes I made on the day and it went down a treat!

This is originally a Waitrose recipe card recipe which I have adapted slightly.

More North African inspired food: Lamb tagine with dates & sweet potatoes | Fish and root vegetable tagine | Charred Aubergine, pepper and bulgur salad

Chicken & Squash Tagine


Serves 4-6 | Prep 20 mins + resting | Cook 2 hrs
Easy | Dairy-Free

You’ll need:

  • olive oil
  • 4 x chicken thighs;
  • 4 x chicken drumsticks;
  • 2 onions, sliced;
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped;
  • 2 tsp ground cumin;
  • 2 tsp ras el hanout;
  • 2 preserved lemons, flesh discarded and peel finely sliced;
  • 225g jar pitted queen olives, drained;
  • 28g pack coriander, roughly chopped;
  • 25g pack flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped;
  • 700g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 5cm chunks;
  • 2 chicken stock cubes;
  • 320g wholewheat couscous.

Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3. Put a large, wide casserole over a medium heat and add a couple of table spoons olive oil, covering the entire base. Season the chicken and fry skin-side down for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Tip: if you add salt to the oil it shouldn’t spray as much.

Remove the pan from the heat and lift the chicken out onto a plate. Add a little more oil, if needed, and add the onion to the casserole, season, and toss. Top with the garlic, spices, lemon peel, olives, most of the herbs (use the stem ends here and reserve the leafy parts to garnish) and the squash. Dilute one of the stock cubes in 400ml just-boiled water and pour over the top, then nestle in the chicken pieces, skin-side up. Cover (with a lid) and bake in the oven for 1 hour 45 minutes, until cooked thoroughly with no pink meat and the juices run clear.

Take out of the oven and rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous. Dilute the remaining stock cube in 650 ml of water. In a large bowl, add the couscous and pour over the stock. Let it rest for a few minutes (follow pack instructions). Fluff up with a fork then divide between 4 plates. Top with the tagine and sprinkle over the remaining herbs.

Original recipe from MyWaitrose, available online here.