This recipe was inspired by the wonderful stews of the Jews of Morocco and North Africa. It takes its name from the vessel in which the original stews are cooked, a tagine, which is a round clay casserole dish with a tall conical lid that captures steam and returns it to the stew. Most people don’t have a tagine, so for this recipe I give instructions to cook the stew in a Dutch oven or a deep sauté pan. For a spicier dish, serve it with harissa, z’hug, or a purchased hot sauce.
In a Dutch oven or a large, deep sauté pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the chicken, working in batches if necessary, and cook until browned, five to seven minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a rimmed plate or bowl.
Lower the heat to medium-high. Add more oil, if needed, add the onion, and sauté until it begins to soften and turn golden, seven to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until golden, one to two minutes. Add the cinnamon, paprika, pepper, and salt and sauté for one minute. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, and eggplant and sauté for three minutes. Add one and a half cups of broth and bring to a simmer. Cover, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the chard and tomatoes, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the carrots begin to soften.
Add the browned chicken and any accumulated juices. Simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through when cut into and the vegetables are fork-tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Add more broth, if needed. Taste, and add more salt or other seasonings, if desired.
Spoon the warm couscous into bowls and top with the stew. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot with lemon wedges on the side.
The stew can be made up to three days in advance, stored in an airtight container, and refrigerated.
Recipe excerpted with permission from 52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen. 52 Shabbats explores the flavors, ingredients, techniques, and traditions of Jewish food from communities around the world while inviting everyone, regardless of background and experience, to honor the tradition of Shabbat with a special meal on Friday nights. Photography by Clara Rice. Buy the book on Amazon.