Tag Archives: moroccan chicken

Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons

IMG_1270And now for the reason I preserved the lemons: My sister has been talking for awhile now about the Moroccan Chicken she and my brother-in-law make with preserved lemons. This is from a recipe originally posted in the New York Times. I tried it out for my friend Barb’s birthday dinner, and it’s just superb, tender and aromatically spiced. I used a Dutch oven instead of a tagine, which worked wonders. You can leave out the olives if you’re not a fan. Serve with Israeli couscous or seasoned pilaf.


  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads, pulverized
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chicken, cut in 8 pieces (I used 8 bone in thighs)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, sliced thin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 calamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 8 cracked green olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 large or 3 small preserved lemons(sold in specialty food shops)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  •  Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley (I used cilantro)


  1. Mix garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric together. If not using kosher chicken, add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add pepper to taste. Rub chicken with mixture, cover, refrigerate and marinate 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Heat oil in heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Add chicken, and brown on all sides. Remove to platter. Add onions to skillet, and cook over medium-low heat about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to tagine, if you are using one, or leave in skillet. Add cinnamon stick.
  3. Put chicken on onions. Scatter with olives. Quarter the lemons, remove pulp and cut skin in strips. Scatter over chicken. Mix stock and lemon juice. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cover tagine or skillet. Place over low heat, and cook about 30 minutes, until chicken is done. Scatter parsley or cilantro on top, and serve.