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Duck Tagine With Harissa, Almonds & Dates

This duck tagine manages to keep the duck breast rosy pink whilst delivering on the big flavours harissa, almonds and dates!

Portrait image of a duck breast tagine with dates and almonds served on a bed of buttered couscous

North African Duck Breast Stew.

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, the name has come to signify a simple stew, rich with the flavours of North Africa or Persia.

This version is pretty light and in comparison to my something like my butternut squash tagine and sweet potato tagine.

This version features pretty classic flavours and textures.

Almonds, harissa paste, honey and dates work with a load of onions to create a great base for the richness of duck breast.

Portrait overhead image of a duck breast tagine with dates and almonds served on a bed of buttered couscous

The Duck Breast.

Whether you are cooking a Moroccan lamb tagine, chicken tagine or even my rabbit tagine the meat is usually slow cooked in the stew.

This recipe takes a slightly different approach.

It is developed to be a pretty quick dinner and a light dinner. But it still hits all of those North African flavour triggers.

We begin by starting the duck breast in a cold pan. It is the same technique used in my duck with orange sauce recipe.

This helps to render out the fat, which we drain off. It is the same reason that I remove the skin entirely from my tamarind duck leg recipe.

In this instance, though we keep the skin as we are able to keep a nice texture when cooking the duck.

The timing of this recipe results in a duck breast that is just past medium.

If you want to take it to medium then you can cook it for an extra 10 minutes or so.

If you want it cooked less then you will need to cook the base for a while first and add the duck later.

Portrait close up image of a duck breast tagine with dates and almonds served on a bed of buttered couscous

Serving Suggestions.

Tagines have big flavours and for that reason, I prefer blank canvases as side dishes.

In this instance, I served this with a herby buttered couscous, but also serve it regularly with bulgur wheat.

Timing-wise, both can be comfortably made around this recipe making it a simple complete meal to make.

Although you could just as easily get some baby carrots and use the spicing from this Moroccan carrot recipe to make a vegetable side.

Square image of a duck breast tagine with dates and almonds served on a bed of buttered couscous
Yield: 2 Servings

Duck Tagine Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

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


  • 350 g (12 oz) Duck Breast
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 300 g (2 Cups) Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 65 g (1/3 Cup) Pitted Dates
  • 50 g (1/3 Cup) Blanched Almonds
  • 10 g (1/2 Tbsp) Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Harissa Paste
  • 1 Tsp Orange Blossom Water
  • Salt to Taste


  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 then place skin side down in a cold dry pan.
  3. Throw in the cinnamon stick and then turn on the heat to medium/low and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain off any fat after 5 or 6 minutes.
  5. Top and tail the onion cut into 5mm thick half moon shapes.
  6. Tear the dates into bite sized pieces.
  7. Mince the garlic cloves.
  8. After 10 minutes remove the duck and set aside.
  9. 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.
  10. After 5 minutes add in the almonds, harissa paste, garlic and honey and stir to coat.
  11. Pour in enough water to cover the base of the pan to a depth of 5-7mm.
  12. Add the orange blossom water, season with salt and then place the duck breast on top skin side up.
  13. Add a lid and place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes at 200°C or 400°F.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow the duck to rest for 5 minutes.
  15. Cut into bite-sized pieces and return to the pan with any resting juices and mix before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 674Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 238mgSodium: 395mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 8gSugar: 27gProtein: 51g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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