Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons

Easy to make recipe and the result, melt in your mouth chicken flavoured with amazing spices and enough delicious sauce that's perfect for dipping in some nice flat bread.

Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons

Of course you don't have to have a Tagine to make this, you can just use a lidded casserole dish. 
Preserved lemons are available in jars in any good supermarket as is rose harissa paste.  So with that said you now have no reason for not giving this a go.  If you really don't like olives just leave them out.
You can use chicken breasts but they will dry out during the longish cooking time.  The reason I cooked this for almost 2 hours is because it allows the flavours to really get into the chicken and the sauce to become nice and thick.   

To serve 4 you will need:
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped tablespoon rose harissa paste (Belazu brand) from Sainsbury's, a large Tesco's and Waitrose
a good pinch of black pepper

8-10 boneless chicken thighs - skin left on
a glug of two of vegetable oil
1 nice big onion - sliced
2 courgettes (zucchini) - sliced, then sliced again to make half moon shapes
3 fat garlic cloves - finely chopped
a knob of ginger - peeled and finely chopped to make almost 2 teaspoons
180ml hot chicken stock made up from 1/2 of a chicken Knorr stock cube
a good pinch saffron
2 whole preserved lemons - sliced and chopped quite small (from Sainsbury's, a large Tesco's and Waitrose)
a good squeeze of runny honey
a handful of mixed green and black olives
a small handful of freshly torn coriander leaves

How to do it:
Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F or Gas 4
In a small bowl mix together the paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and the rose harissa paste.
Add a tiny amount of vegetable oil and mix together.  Using your hands the mixture over both sides of the chicken (gloves would be good or your fingers
will be stained yellow from the turmeric....that's what happened to mine)!

Heat a glug of oil (say a tablespoon) in a large frying pan and add the chicken pieces skin side down.
Cook till the skin is nicely browned then turn for just a minute.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Without washing the pan tip in the sliced onion, and cook for a few minutes till they are soft.  They will pick up a nice colour from the spicy mixture left in the pan from cooking the chicken. 
When that's happened add the courgettes along with the garlic and ginger and fry for just a minute.
Make up the chicken stock and crumble in the saffron, stirring well to dissolve.

Add the preserved lemons and a good squeeze of runny honey.

Give everything a good stir, put the chicken back in making sure it sits skin side up on top of everything.  Put the lid on your Tagine or casserole and pop into a pre-heated oven for about an hour.
Have a check on it and stir in the olives you can add a little water if you really need to but I don't think you will.

Pop the Tagine back in the oven for another half an hour to an hour by which time your kitchen will smell amazing and everything will be delicious.
Scatter the torn coriander leaves and serve piping hot with some couscous and flat bread for dipping.

Chicken Tagine


  1. Lovely! I was just wondering what to cook and this reminded me how much we love Moroccan food.... chicken terrine with olives it is then! Thanks, Jan!

  2. Thank you for inspiring me! I have included this recipe in my August Roundup. Please stop by and let me know what you think of the post.

  3. Thank you for inspiring me! I have included this recipe in my August Roundup. Please stop by and let me know what you think of the post.


Thanks for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.

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