chicken-in milk1I have a new tagine. It’s a fancy one – Staub. It cost way too much, but it’s the first tagine I’ve had that does the full job – it works on the stovetop, and in the oven. Until now, I’ve used a 45 year old enamel pot that came to me through my mother in law, and I will still use that lovely pot, but the added bonus with a tagine like this is that it looks damn good on a table.I’m still inspired by my trip to Jordan, and after cooking mansaf the other day, I thought of my tagine, and chicken. Chicken is so tender and juicy when poached in milk. Jamie Oliver has a great recipe that I had made when my family still included regular dairy in the diet. But now I use camel milk due to its better casein profile. It also has a richer flavour, a light tang and an incredible creaminess despite its low fat content. Camel milk is readily available here in Dubai – for those who can’t find it, substitute with buttermilk rather than regular milk, otherwise it will be a little bland, as I use fillets in this recipe rather than a whole chicken.

  • 4 chicken breast fillets, sliced into large chunks (3-4 per fillet depending on size)
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • a good slug of nice olive oil for browning
  • chicken stock cube (crumbled)
  • rind of one lemon (large pieced peeled rather than shredded or grated)
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a cinnamon quill
  • 350ml camel milk (or buttermilk – tips for turning regular milk into buttermilk here and  here)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F), then set your pot or tagine on the stovetop at a high heat.
  2. Brown chicken with olive oil and garlic, then add the rest of the ingredients to the pot
  3. Bring to a gentle boil, then pop in the oven for one hour (covered)

Serve with short-grained rice, maybe with a saffron flavour, and buttered baby peas, or with big chunks of crusty bread and a green salad with herbs. 

This is a seriously easy dish, and the kids adored it (with rice and peas).

6 thoughts on “Chicken and camel milk tagine”

  1. Gosh this photo is stunning. Am not a huge fan of camel milk or any milk for that matter, but you've inspired me to try this recipe in my (relatively new) tagine.

  2. Ms Hedonista – you are inspiring me to get a new tagine myself – the pictures are so beautiful. The one that I have is quite old – not as ancient as yours but I am really so fond of it. I am not too fond of camel milk – maybe a psychological predisposition to it. But the fact that your kids loved it a lot says a lot for the recipe.

  3. Hello there Hedonista! So I have access now to camel milk in the US and although quite pricey (8$ per pint) I seriously want to start incorporating it into a meal plan twice a week. Sadly most websites offer like smoothie recipes but when I fond this recipe it gave me a bit of hope!

    So I was wondering if you could talk about your use of camel milk fresh or fermented and what ideas you have for it (if its not too off topic; I am going though your blog but I can only find the lamb recipe that has you talk about camel labneh)

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Lem,
      I use camel milk all the time. We buy it fresh here, which makes it easier to substitute, and I like to keep one of my sons off dairy because I believe the casein makes him a little erratic and slows down his brain function. Here you can buy camel milk chocolate as well, which is absolutely delicious.
      I find that you can use it to replace milk in almost any recipe, particularly savoury ones. It’s super in a bechamel (great for lasagne – mixed with some smoked paprika to make up for the loss of cheese!) or white sauce on cauliflower.
      The milk has a slightly barnyardy flavour, which makes it horrible in coffee though. However I find this lessons with cooking, and I use it in my pancake mix (I use doves farm gluten free self raising flour, camel milk and eggs in varying quantities depending on how thick I want them), and you cannot taste any difference. I use it in all my cakes too. It’s also super in a hot chocolate, and anything that is sweetened and mixed with a more prominent flavour. Sort of works like salting caramel does I suppose.
      Good luck with it – perhaps you should give Mansaf a go? When you get that right, it’s incredible. Here’s my recipe, which uses laban (I can buy camel laban here), which is like yoghurt, but you could easily substitute with fermented camel milk, or some standard camel milk. I think you will find that the milk will separate though, so when it’s cooked, drain it off, and blend it well, then thicken slightly with a little flour and butter over the heat and pour it back over

Some other suggestions or opinion to add? Please comment