Chicken Tagine with Raisins and Pistachios – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


Low Carb Chicken TagineI was all set to tell you all about raisins and how they can add a wonderful sweetness and flavour to savoury dishes like this low carb Chicken Tagine.  Even in the modest quantities I used, to keep the carb count down, they manage to lend a touch of sweetness to the broth and an exotic flair to the whole dish.  I could probably go on at length, as I can on almost any food-related subject that interests me.  But today I am not going to do so.  I do love raisins and I love giving them to my kids and working them into recipes.  And I absolutely loved this tagine and would make it again in a heartbeat.  But if you don’t mind very much, I just want to get completely off topic and talk about my week.  Because this is my blog and is where I sometimes want to ramble on about the thoughts in my head and the happenings in my life.  If you don’t care to read it, just scroll on down to the recipe and away you go.

See, this was a week of witnessing accidents and it has me a little rattled, quite frankly.  The first was on Sunday evening, on our way to an impromptu (and chilly) trip to the beach.  We were in our car and my husband was driving, and we were stopped at a red light.  Out of seemingly nowhere, a red SUV came from behind us and went around us to the left, INTO oncoming traffic, and smashed into the side of a minivan that had tried to veer out of the way.  It was only about 10 feet from us.  We pulled off the road as quickly as we could to make sure everyone was okay.  I ran to the minivan and was fortunate to find that the family inside (mother, father and two young sons) were fine…shaken, but fine.  Their car was badly damaged, with the entire driver’s side crushed.  I gave them my number and we stayed with them until the police arrived, so that we could give an account of what happened.

I never spoke to the woman in the red SUV, but she was very clearly at fault, of which she was well-aware.  She told the father from the minivan that she had been having a bad day and wasn’t paying attention.  But I have played this scene over and over in my mind and I still have trouble fathoming how someone can pull directly into oncoming traffic, even under such circumstances.  It is not as if she drifted a little over the yellow line.  She was coming up from behind us and just went right around us, as if deliberately.  There was some speculation that she was on the phone or was texting, and I suspect that she was headed straight at the back of MY car, without realizing that we were stopped at the red light, and that she swerved at the last minute to avoid hitting us from behind.  Regardless, it was quite a shocker and a good reminder of just how quickly things can spiral out of control when you aren’t focusing on your driving.

Low Carb Chicken Tagine

And then yesterday, while on a long run, I stopped to help when a little dog was hit by a car.  I didn’t actually see the poor pup get hit, but I saw a yellow Mini stop short in the street and cars begin to stop behind it.  The driver got out and went to the dog and I ran over to ask if I could help, thinking she was the one who hit him.  She wasn’t, because apparently that person had already taken off (oh, what I would do to them if I met them face to face!).  I called 911 simply because I had no better idea of who to call, and they kindly transferred me to my local police.  All the while, I was helping direct traffic around the Mini Cooper because people were honking their horns, impatient and having no clue what was going on.

Sadly, the little dog was badly hurt and I can only thank heavens that he died fairly quickly while we were with him.  We tried to find the number for his owner from his collar, but while we were doing so, the owner’s friend, who had been looking after him, came up and joined us.  The little pup had jumped out of his car earlier and he’d been driving around looking for him when he saw us by the side of the road.

Low Carb Chicken Tagine

 I find myself a bit shaken by both events.  But I also find that I want to try to take lessons from these events and perhaps even see the little bit of good in them.  I feel so thankful that no one was hurt in the crash.  I feel thankful that the woman in the Mini Cooper stopped to help the dog, even when people were honking angrily at her.  I feel so touched that the mother from the minivan called me several days later, simply to thank us for stopping to help.  And I take very seriously the reminder that life is short, accidents can happen at any moment and that we need to take our joy and happiness where we can.

So I am also sharing a little of my joy here.  My son running across a windy, sandy New England beach in April.  A perfect moment of joy caught on camera.  I love this photo, it feels so free.


Eat well, enjoy your friends and family, and pay attention while you’re driving.  No phone call or text is worth risking your life or the lives of others.

Chicken Tagine with Raisins and Pistachios – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Chicken Tagine with Raisins and Pistachios – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

A hearty North African dish, this chicken tagine is flavoured with raisins and pistachios.


  • 6 chicken legs or 6 thighs and 6 drumsticks
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 2 tbsp golden raisins (use 1/4 cup if not watching carbs)
  • 2 tbsp dark raisins (use 1/4 cup if not watching carbs)


  1. Melt butter in a large saute pan or dutch oven over medium high heat.
  2. Pat chicken legs dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When pan is hot, add chicken, skin-side down and cook without moving 5 minutes, until skin is crispy brown. Turn chicken over and cook another 4 minutes.
  3. Transfer chicken to a platter and tent with foil. Add onion, garlic and ginger to pan and cook until onion is translucent, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add cumin, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth and stir to combine.
  5. Add chicken back into pan and sprinkle with raisins and pistachios. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.


Serves 6 to 8. For 6 servings, each serving has 8.3 g of carbs. For 8 servings, each serving has 6.3g of carbs.

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  1. says

    Hello from north-eastern India! I came via Food Blogs after seeing the name of your recipe. Surely something I’d love to try out. I love raisins in meat curries, particularly lamb. Wonderful photos of the chicken tagine!

    Indeed no phone call/text is worth risking lives. Here, people flout major traffic rules and the accident rates are high.

  2. Beth says

    I just have to comment because your post gave me chills…since that is the kind of week I’ve had too. I haven’t witnessed any accidents, but a horrible one occurred a few miles from my house this week. A mom was killed with her young children in the back (same ages as my kids). She was hit by a 17 year old on his way to school. Rumor has it he was texting, but I don’t know for sure. The same day, a truck was rear-ended in front of my house. No one was hurt, but they were sure mad at each other! Wouldn’t be surprised if that one was due to cell phone use as well. Scary and sad week. In happier news though, your recipe looks great!

  3. says

    Yes, life is precious, so very precious. I’m relieved that you and your family are okay. I still remember when I was in high school I was mentoring with the photography dept at the Houston Chronicle. We were called to an accident. A kid was hit when he got off the school bus, lights flashing red. A car went around the bus, despite the red flashing lights and hit this poor kid. I saw blood on the street, I saw the driver, I was too freaked out to take pictures. I later found out that the child died. All it takes is one careless mistake….

  4. says

    Oh man, this post totally has me in tears. Both stories are terrible but as a dog owner/lover hearing about that poor pooch just destroys me. I cannot believe the person that hit the dog didn’t stop, that is despicable. Just yesterday we were helping our friend look for his dog who went missing and that exact scenario kept playing in my mind. Thankfully she was safe and sound when we found her. We were shaken up all day over it, I can’t even imagine how you felt. So glad to hear that there are people like you that take the time to stop in instances like both of those. The world is better because of people like you.

  5. says

    I’m thinking there was a cell phone involved with the red SUV and she tucked it away before anyone could see. Thank goodness the family wasn’t hurt at all! Ugh, the poor pup too. I feel for the guy who had to go tell the owner.

    On a better note, I love chicken tagine. Love, love, love. And I love raisins as well. Golden are my favorite, but I’m definitely not picky. This looks delicious, Carolyn.

    • Fyre says

      You know, the insurance company can subpoena the cell phone records to see if she was sending/receiving texts at the time of the accident, if someone recorded the time. I don’t want to get tempted, so I don’t even have text turned on with my phone (prepaid, to boot, so I’m not tempted to use it much, either!). This also *helps* keep me aware of other people on the road, and avoid some situations (almost had an idiot back into me because they decided they were tired of waiting to get out of a parking lot while they were in the entrance/exit port and I was turning into the lot).

      Good for you on stopping to help take care of people and pets both. Not enough people stop these days; generally because “everyone” has cell phones and can call for help, they’re in a hurry themselves to get somewhere, or they’re afraid to stop because of some of the senseless violence perpetrated by people looking for victims in such a manner.

  6. says

    Carolyn, so sorry to hear about your rough week, although you were a blessing to those that you stopped and helped. Life is fleeting that’s for sure, so I am constantly reminded that there is nothing that important that can’t wait. I’ve learned to appreciate and be thankful for all the little things in life, and savor the moments with my family. I love that picture of your son on the beach – a beautiful memory.

  7. says

    Oh you poor dear. That’s awful. I saw a little jack russell get hit once, I burst into tears on the spot. I think it’s so important for people to help when things like that happen. You totally did the right thing. Just so sorry it happened.

    Glad you guys got away for some downtime. Always a good thing.

    And seriously this is one delicious recipe. You know my love affair with pistachios.

  8. says

    Events like that can definitely shake you! I just missed getting hit by a car going through a red light recently and was completely freaked out. Glad that everyone in the car accident was ok.

    I don’t love raisins but I can see how the flavor would be a good compliment to the salty pistachios in this dish!

  9. mona says

    Thank you for sharing. Would this recipe be good in a crock pot? If so, would you adjust anything?

    • Carolyn says

      I don’t really use crockpots often so I don’t know how to adjust it but I can imagine it would be a good way to cook the tagine.


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