Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Olives Recipe

Servings: 4

This uniquely flavored chicken stew is bursting with an unusual blend of flavors. Serve it with warm couscous.


  • 8 medium chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1/2 teaspoon ras el hanout (a spice blend available at Middle Eastern markets)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped preserved lemon peel (available at Middle Eastern markets)
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot and add chicken, skin side down. Cook until skin is golden brown.
  3. Remove the chicken and add the onions to the pot.
  4. Cook the onions over low heat until they start to soften.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chicken stock, and stir well to coat the onions with the spices.
  6. Add the chicken stock to the pot and stir well.
  7. Add the chicken back to the pot.
  8. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a slow, steady simmer and cover.
  9. Cook for about 45 minutes and then add the olives and the lemon peel.
  10. Continue cooking another 20-30 minutes, uncovered, or until the chicken is falling off the bone.
  11. Remove the chicken from the pot and continue cooking the liquid until it reduces to a saucy consistency.
  12. Add the lemon juice, cilantro, and parsley to the sauce.
  13. Serve the chicken with couscous and spoon the sauce on top.

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