Tajine Zitoune is an Algerian stew dish that consists of chicken cooked in a pot together with carrots and green olives using north African spices. The chicken is simmered in low heat giving a flavorful and aromatic stew which is best served with bread or couscous.
Algerian is home to delicious foods which is similar to Moroccan and Tunisian cuisines. When you tried their cuisines, you will notice that is similar to Middle Eastern food which contains similar spices & herbs. One Algerian dish that I crave so much is the Tajine Zitoune dish.
The word Tajine means "clay or ceramic pot", and Zitoune means "olives" which makes sense since it is a popular staple ingredient in Algeria. Do you know that Algeria is home to one of the largest producers of olives and olive oil, which is an important condiment used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking?
What makes this dish delicious is that it is rich in herbs and spices which adds an aromatic flavor. Furthermore, green olives are very nutritious since its rich in Vitamins and antioxidants. In this recipe, I have made my version of Tajine Zitoune which I promise you will love it.
Here are the ingredients you need for Algerian Tajine Zitoune:
Chicken: This will serve as my protein and I prefer to use a drumstick since it's juicy and tender.
Vegetables: I am using carrots and green olives, which is the most important ingredient for this dish. In most sources, olives are labeled as fruits but they taste like a vegetable. Nonetheless, you can't Tajine Zitoune without this ingredient.
Herbs: I am using garlic, red onion, and parsley since they enhance the flavor of the stew.
Spices: Like most Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, spices are important to add aromatic flavor. Here are the spices you need for this recipe:
- Black Pepper
Other Ingredients: For the remaining ingredients you will need water to simmer the chicken & making a stew, and olive oil to saute the onion, garlic, and the rest of the ingredients.
Step by Step Instruction
It is actually a simple and straight forward process to make this dish and I am going to show you how.
- Firstly, I added the olive oil and then I saute the onion and garlic till it turns translucent.
- After that, I added the chicken and give it a few minutes to stir before adding the spices.
- Next, I added the carrot and poured water till it covers the chicken.
- While it simmering, I added the chopped parsley and give it a gentle mix. The parsley will add an aromatic flavor to the stew. I simmered for at least 30 minutes.
- Once the chicken is soft and cooked, I removed it and transferred it to a baking pan. Place it in the oven and let it boil for 10 minutes to brown the chicken.
- During the baking process, add the green olives to the stew and let it simmer for 5 minutes to help absorb the flavor.
- Once done, you can serve it on a plate and place the chicken above the carrots and olives. Serve it with kesra bread or couscous. Enjoy!
Tips and Hints
- Wash the green olives with water before adding on the stew to reduce the saltiness
- Add enough water to cover the chicken. You don't want to dilute the flavor.
- Slow-cook this recipe on low heat to absorb the flavor and make the chicken tender.
- Add more onion to give a tasty aromatic stew
- Serve it with couscous, bread, or rice to soak up the flavorful sauce
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What other meats I can use in my Tajine Zitoune?
You can use lamb, beef or chicken.
2. What should I serve Tajine Zitoune with
You can serve rice, couscous, or crusty bread like kesra.
3. Can I make this recipe in advance?
Yes, the flavor will get better the next day. You can just reheat in the low fire before serving.
4. How long can it last in the fridge?
It can be stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator before it get spoiled.
5. Can I make this recipe a vegetarian friendly?
Yes, instead of chicken, you can use chickpeas or tofu since they are both high in protein.
📋 Recipe Card
Tajine Zitoune Recipe
- 1 Cooking Pot
- 6 chicken drumstick
- 1 large carrot
- 1 cup green olives
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- 1 large red onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- water enough to cover the chicken
- Add olive oil to the pot. Once hot, add chopped garlic & red onion. Stir till it turns translucent.
- Add the chicken drumstick. Stir gently before adding all the spices.
- Add the carrot before pouring the water till it's enough to cover the chicken. Let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- During the simmering, add chopped parsley and stir to combine.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and transfer it into the baking pan. Set it aside.
- In the same cooking pot, add the green olives and let it simmer for 5 minutes to absorb the flavor.
- To brown the chicken, place it in the oven and broil for 10 minutes.
- Serve it on a plate together with the chicken. Best to eat with crusty bread, couscous, or rice.
- Make sure you wash the olives to remove the excess salt.