Duck Tagine With Almonds

North African/Persian flavours are no stranger here and this duck tagine features more than a passing nod to those ideas.

Portrait image of a duck tagine with almonds and dates served on buttered couscous in an earthenware bowl

Duck Tagine With Almonds and Dates.

A tagine is a dish named after the receptacle it is cooked in… A conical pot that returns the condensate from the recipe back into the pan.

However, to me it signifies a simple stew, rich with the flavours of North Africa or Persia.

I have not cooked a tagine in a tagine since I broke mine almost 10 years ago. There is little difference in either flavour or texture when cooked in a pan with a lid.

In fact, this is the 5th tagine recipe on my site and not one of them has been anywhere near a tagine.

Here are the rest of them, just in case this foxy duck number has not piqued your interest:

Portrait overhead image of a duck tagine with almonds and dates served on buttered couscous in an earthenware bowl

Cooking the Duck Breast:

This duck tagine uses a duck breast, stretching a single larger breast between two servings.

However, cooking a duck breast in a stew can add far too much fat to the recipe.

As a result, I cook the duck breast skin side down using the cold pan method that I used in my Duck a l Orange recipe.

This helps to render out the fat, which you absolutely must keep, it makes the very best roast potatoes!

This leads to a much lighter final tagine.

The duck breast is then finished off in the oven sat on top of the sauce that we create using just a little of the duck fat to get things started.

Close up portrait image of a duck tagine with almonds and dates served on buttered couscous in an earthenware bowl

What to Serve With a Tagine.

I honestly rarely look much further than couscous as an accompaniment to a tagine.

In this instance, I have opted for a fairly simple buttered couscous.

Primarily because it is simple to cook, quick and it is the perfect vehicle to carry the flavours in the dish a little further.

It is the same reason that I used couscous as a side to my slow roast duck legs in a tamarind sauce.

In fact, in many ways you could think of this recipe as a lightened up, new season version of that recipe.

Duck Tagine With Almonds

Duck Tagine With Almonds

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This stripped back duck tagine takes a slightly lighter approach to a traditional tagine but it still packs a huge punch of flavour helped by harissa and rose water.


  • 300 g Duck Breast
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 200 g Onion
  • 75 g Pitted Dates
  • 75 g Blanched Almonds
  • 1 Tbsp Harissa Paste
  • 400 g Canned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tsp Rosewater


  1. Cut a diamond pattern on the skin side of the duck breast ensuring that you do not go through to the flesh.
  2. Season the duck generously with salt and pepper then place skin side down in a dry pan that you can transfer to the oven.
  3. Throw in the cinnamon stick and then turn on the heat to medium/low and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. As the duck cooks drain off the collected fat
  5. Top and tail the onion and then cut into 8 wedges.
  6. Tear the dates into bite sized pieces.
  7. After 10 minutes remove the duck and set aside.
  8. Drain all but a scant covering of duck fat from the pan, increase the heat to medium-high and fry off the onions for 5 minutes.
  9. After 5 minutes add in the almonds and toast for 60-90 seconds.
  10. Then add the canned tomatoes, Harissa paste and rosewater.
  11. Bring to temperature and have a taste adding salt and pepper as you wish.
  12. Once you are seasoned up, add the duck breast to the top of the mix skin side up.
  13. Add a lid and place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes at 200°C or 400°F.
  14. When ready to serve cut the duck into bite-sized pieces and stir through the tomato sauce.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 911Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 231mgSodium: 528mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 13gSugar: 36gProtein: 52g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

10 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. Duck breast is so versatile and perfect with those sweet flavours. My family would really love the earthy flavours and the crunch of the almonds too.

  2. Tagine is a beautiful dish to serve at any time, spicy flavours from the harissa paste make all the difference to this recipe, like the addition of rose water in this recipe.

  3. I love tagines, but have never made it with duck! Yum! I want to get a real tagine (the pot) some day! I can’t wait to try this! We adore duck!

  4. Wow what a fancy looking dish. The cous cous does sounds like it would be the perfect accompaniment as you say. I will have to give this delicious sounding dish a go, cheers!


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