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moroccan chicken
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5 from 1 vote

Moroccan chicken recipe with preserved lemon and olives

A traditional Moroccan chicken tagine recipe stewed with preserved lemons, onion sauce and olives.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Morrocan
Keyword: chicken, chicken with lemon, moroccan chicken, olives
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 330kcal


Ingredients for the chicken marinade

  • 4-6 chicken thighs depending on the size
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of saffron optional

Ingredients for the sauce

  • 6-8 green olives
  • 1 preserved lemon see the explanation in the article
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  • If it’s possible prepare the marinade the day before and leave the chicken to absorb all the spices and flavors. In a deep bowl, mix all the ingredients for the chicken marinade. Place the chicken in a deep container and pour the marinade in it. Leave it in the fridge until next day. As I explained above, an alternative way is to marinate the chicken for one hour.
  • Transfer the chicken and all the marinade in a deep skillet or a pan. Cover the pan and stew the chicken for about one hour or until tendered. Every 20 minutes stir the chicken thighs so they get cooked well on all sides. Stew the chicken at low heat so it doesn’t start to fry. If it does, put just a bit of water.
  • When chicken thighs are soft and cooked, remove them from the pan but leave the onions. Add ½ of teaspoon of cinnamon. Continue to stir onions so the sauce gets thick enough.
  • After 5 minutes or so, add olives and one preserved lemon but make sure you washed it first and removed the pulp. Cut the lemon completely, so you get at least 6 slices.
  • Stew the lemon and olives together with that sauce, for about 5 minutes and then add chicken thighs and simmer for at least 10 more minutes.