How to make tagine chicken in a slow cooker

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A tagine is a North African dish that's named after the earthy cookware it's cooked in and it's made up of two parts. The bottom is a large serving platter with curved edges to hold the meat and/or vegetables that are placed inside. Over this goes the lid, or the top. It's shaped like a cone and is wide enough to cover the platter on the bottom, but narrows towards the top to let steam escape, and help regulate the temperature inside. Often when food is cooked inside of a tagine, the top simply comes off and the dish is presented as is on the platter.
The tagine is really just North Africa's version of the slow cooker, so you can still get all the great flavors of this authentic dish, even if you don't own an actual tagine. In this recipe, chicken thighs are marinated in spices before being slow cooked with dried fruits, nuts, and a sumptuous broth that will fill the house with a most delicious scent as it cooks.
Tangine Chicken
15 minutes
8 hours, 45 minutes
9 hours plus marinating time
1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons (10 ml) caraway seeds, crushed
2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon (1.5 ml) cayenne pepper
4 pounds (1.5 kg) skinless bone-in chicken thighs
1 14.5-ounce (425 ml) can chicken broth
1 cup (250 ml) dried apricots, quartered
1/2 cup (125 ml) dried cranberries
2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground ginger
1 teaspoon (5 ml) turmeric
1 eggplant, cubed
1/3 cup (75 ml) cilantro, chopped
2 cups (500 ml) slivered almonds, toasted
In a large resealable bag, combine the following: olive oil, garlic, cinnamon, caraway seeds, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Shake to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients and then place chicken thighs inside. Place in the fridge and marinate for 4 hours or overnight.
In a large bowl combine the chicken broth, apricots, cranberries, ginger, and turmeric. Remove chicken thighs from marinade and place in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour chicken broth mixture over top. Place lid on slow cooker, set heat to low, and cook for 8 hours (or on high for 4 hours).
Add the eggplant to the slow cooker, place the lid back on, and turn heat to high (if it had been on low). Cook for another 30 - 45 minutes, until the eggplant is cooked through.
When chicken and eggplant are finished cooking, sprinkle cilantro and toasted almonds over the entire dish.
Pro tip: Chicken tagine is a hearty dish that can be eaten all on its own as a complete meal. If you want to make it even more filling, serve with a side of couscous or steamed rice.
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