Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Carmen Reserva Carmenere

Don’t let the cardamom pods scare you away.  This recipe is super easy to make and the wine is incredible value!

Food Pairing:  Carmen Reserva Carmenere

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Canada



For the Ras-el-Hanout Spice Mix:

  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

For the Tagine:

  • 4 chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks separated
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves



For the Ras-el-Hanout Spice Mix:

  1. Grind together in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, and store in an airtight container. You may also mix the same spices pre-ground.

For the Tagine:

  1. Put 3 tbsp of ras-el-hanout in a food processor with garlic cloves and olive oil and puree to a smooth paste.
  2. Place chicken thighs and drumsticks in a freezer bag with the paste, mix well and place in the refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour.
  3. Place the marinated chicken into a large pot along with dried apricots, dates, onions, almond butter, saffron, turmeric, salt and pepper. Pour in enough water to just cover everything, put a tight fitting lid on the pot and place over medium-high heat. Simmer for 2 hours, until the chicken legs are tender and the liquid has thickened. Adjust seasoning and add cilantro leaves just before serving.



Courtesy of

Carmenere goes terrifically with food. It’s a highly versatile red grape that goes well with a wide variety of dishes, especially spicy and savory ones. Depending upon the dishes, Carmenere can be an adventurous and satisfying alternative to Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Chianti Classico, Tempranillo and Malbec.

Carmenere comes in several styles, but the most common one is ripe and spicy dark red fruit with a soft, velvet texture on the palate and with accents of black pepper, possibly smoke and tar, or herbs and green pepper. It usually has some oak spice aromas and flavors, too. It is medium weight with good structure and acidity, due in part to blending with Cabernet Sauvignon. And it has soft, round tannins on the finish.

Taking Account of Ingredients. While highly versatile for pairing with food, we find that Carmenere goes particularly well with dishes that contain the following ingredients:

  • Herbs and spices: oregano, rosemary, and thyme, garlic, fennel, red and black pepper, curry powder, saffron, paprika, anise and cumin.
  • Fruits and vegetables: olives, black and green, mushrooms, tomatoes, green pepper, eggplant, piquillo peppers, onion, sweet potato, corn.
  • Meats and Fish: lamb, stewing beef, pork sausage, chicken, duck, rabbit, wild boar, venison, all depending upon the preparations.


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