Project Description

Chicken, Preserved Lemon & Green Olive Tagine

Chicken, Preserved Lemon & Green Olive Tagine is one of the great dishes of Morocco. It is easy to make at home without any special equipment.

Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes + overnight marinating
Cooking time: 45 minutes


1 kilo free-range chicken thigh cutlets (or chicken Maryland), skin-on
½ cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
20g unsalted butter
3 brown onions, cut into large dice
200ml chicken stock
2 whole red chillies, slit in half but held together by the stem
1 whole preserved lemon, skin only, cut into large dice
12 large green olives, pitted
50ml lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, crushed with 1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 ground coriander
15 saffron threads

180g (6oz) instant couscous (see note)
3/4 cup (180 ml) chicken stock
2 red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted pinenuts
2 tablespoons coriander, chopped
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons (40 ml) extra virgin olive oil

To serve
fresh herb leaves e.g. parsley, coriander


  1. Combine marinade ingredients with ¼ cup (60 ml) oil in a large ziplock bag. Add chicken, seal and massage to cover chicken and marinate in the fridge overnight.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Place a large frypan over medium heat, add remaining oil and butter and when foaming, add onions and cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened but not brown. Put into a medium large baking tray.
  3. Increase the heat, brown the chicken in the frypan for 5-7 minutes on all sides until golden. Place on baking tray, skin-side up and pour over chicken stock, poke in the chillies.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Stir in preserved lemon, olives, and lemon juice for another 15 minutes or until sauce thickens and chicken is tender.
  5. Meanwhile pour boiling stock over the couscous, cover with clean cloth and leave to swell for 5 minutes. Fork over couscous, mix through chillies, raisins, parsley, pinenuts, coriander, salt and pepper and extra olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle tagine with parsley and coriander and serve with couscous.

Lyndey’s Note: You can also use large Moghrabieh couscous, also Middle Eastern and very popular in Lebanon and Israel. Simply proceed as per the packet instructions and boil or cook in stock for approx. 20 minutes. Then toss in a pan with some extra virgin olive oil and proceed to finish as for the instant couscous.

Related Recipe Moroccan Chicken Breast with Almond Couscous