Rowena G's Recipes

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Olives

Recipe by
2 hour 45 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 1 hour and 30 minutes | Servings: 4 persons

Marinating the chicken for a few hours or overnight is optional.

  • 1 whole chicken,
  • 2 large white or yellow onions
  • Small handful of fresh coriander, chopped*
  • Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped*
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (or 1/4 teaspoon Moroccan yellow colorant)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
  • 1 handful green or black olives, (I stone and chop them up a little but you can put them in whole)
  • 1 large (or 2 smaller) preserved lemon, quartered and seeds removed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water, approximately

* Instead of chopping, you can tie the parsley and cilantro together into a bouquet and place on top of the chicken during cooking

  1. Prepare the Chicken by removing the skin and cutting into 6 or 8 pieces
  2. Remove the flesh from the preserved lemon, and finely chop. Keep the rinds in a small bowl.
  3. Very finely chop the onions, garlic, coriander, parsley and garlic
  4. Add the chopped lemon flesh to a bowl along with the chicken, onion, garlic, coriander, parsley and spices and mix well. If time allows, let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight.
  5. After marinating add enough of the olive oil to the casserole to coat the bottom. Arrange the chicken in the heavy cast iron casserole (flesh-side down), and distribute the onion mixture all around.
  6. Add the olives and preserved lemon rind, and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken. Add the water to the heavy cast iron casserole, cover, and place over a medium-low heat.
  7. Bring to a simmer, try not to boil hard but you do want it to bubble very gently.
  8. Allow the chicken to cook undisturbed for 80 to 90 minutes, and then turn the chicken over so that it’s flesh side up. Cover the casserole again, and allow the chicken to finish cooking until very tender.
  9. Turn off the heat, and let the casserole cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Moroccan tradition is to eat directly from the tagine, using Moroccan bread to scoop up the chicken and sauce. French fries are frequently served with this dish, and may even be placed on top of the chicken.


By Christine Benlafquih


Spectacular Flavours! First made for a Moroccon dinner in early January 2010 when everyone was sick of Christmas food.


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