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Healthy & Delicious: 30-Minute Chicken Tagine

Editor's note: On Mondays, Kristen Swensson Sturt of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share healthy and delicious recipes with us. Take it away, Kristen!

[Photograph: Kristen Swensson Sturt]

What this is not: an authentic Moroccan tagine, cooked in a clay vessel procured from a three-month, Sheltering Sky-style quest to find myself.

What this is: a fast, healthy weeknight meal evoking traditional North African flavors, but accessible enough to please my ultra-picky sister, who subsists primarily on tuna sandwiches and Diet Coke.

Another winner from Cook's Illustrated Best 30-Minute Recipe (which, Imma let you finish, but is one of the greatest cookbooks of all time), Chicken Tagine features chickpeas and chicken thighs as its primary proteins. Though slightly higher in fat than chicken breasts, skinless thighs make up for it by being smaller but. They are juicier, more flavorful, and way harder to overcook.

The recipe derives a lot of its deep, warm notes from garam masala, a spice mix common to Indian cuisine. If you don't have it handy, Chris Kimball suggests you combine one teaspoon each of cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and cardamom, along with a pinch of ground cloves. It's close enough, and receives extra points for its delectable fragrance, which, if bottled, would make approximately 40 bajillion dollars in its first week of sales.

So there you have it, folks: a dish that it what it is, but actually offers much more.

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