Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives

Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives

Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives

Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives

This Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives is one of our favorite recipes.  This was originally a Tofu-based recipe, so you can make it with tofu for a Vegetarian dish.

If you have not crafted a Moroccan dish yet, or have used a tagine, then this is a great recipe with which to start.  Made with chicken or tofu, the full flavor of the Moroccan spices is sure to introduce your palate or confirm what you already know, that the spice profile of North Africa is one of the most flavorful in the world.  Lightly toasting the spices releases the flavors, and also fills your kitchen of the air of a Spice Bazaar.

Serves 4


1 chicken, about 3 lb. or 2-3 pounds of chicken breasts.  If you make with tofu, use 2 packages (about 2 pounds) of extra firm tofu.  Adjust the browning time so the tofu doesn’t burn, as well as reduce the cooking time to an hour.
½ Tsp Hungarian or Sweet Paprika
½ Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
½ Tsp Ground Ginger
½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
2 or 3 Bay Leaves
4 Tbs. Extra-virgin Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, Sliced
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
2 Small Yellow Onions, Thinly Sliced
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley plus More for Garnish
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
6 preserved lemon wedges, rinsed and pulp removed, or peel of 1 lemon, cut into thin strips 1 inch long
1 cup green or black olives (we like green olives)
1 15 oz can Low-Salt Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Cooked couscous or basmati rice for serving


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Cut the chicken into serving pieces: 2 legs, 2 thighs and 2 wings; cut each half-breast in 2 or 3 pieces depending on their size. Set aside.

In a small sauté pan over medium heat, toast the spices, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the bay leaves, 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, the garlic, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and reserve the marinade.

In a Cast-Iron bottom Tagine (or Dutch oven) over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the chicken on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Add the onions to the Tagine and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken back to the Tagine along with the reserved marinade, the 1/2 cup parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, preserved lemon, olives and stock.

Cover and put Tagine in the 325 degree oven on the mid position rack. Cook until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Don’t keep looking or you will lose all the steam in the tagine. Discard the bay leaves. Garnish with parsley and serve the chicken directly from the Tagine. Accompany with couscous or Basamati rice.


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