A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons

Authentic Chicken Tagine Recipe

If you're looking to embark on a culinary adventure without leaving the comfort of your own kitchen, then this authentic Chicken Tagine recipe is just what you need.

Moroccan chicken tagine with preserved lemons .

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*Update to this post in July 2023. Inspired by Rick Stein and his Mediterranean Escapes cookbook I just had to buy a Tagine.

That was way back in 2008 when I started this food blog; in fact, it was my first ever blog post! and I'm still using the same Tagine to this day!

Transport your taste buds to the vibrant and exotic flavours of Morocco with this tantalising dish.

Bursting with aromatic spices, tender chicken, and preserved lemons, this tagine is sure to impress even the most discerning of palates.

As you take your first bite, you'll be instantly transported to the bustling souks of Marrakech, where the air is filled with the intoxicating scents of cumin, coriander, and cinnamon.

Slow cooking allows the flavours to mingle together, resulting in a dish that is rich, fragrant, and utterly delicious.

So, why not indulge in a little culinary escapism and treat yourself to an unforgettable Moroccan dining experience right at home?

First, though, what is a Tagine?

A tagine or tajine is a Maghrebi dish that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. It's also called maraq or marqa. Source Wikipedia.

Grab your aprons -  people and let's get cooking!

Recipe Top Tips! 

  • You don't have to have a Tagine to make this, you can just use a suitably sized lidded casserole dish and ideally one that can go on the stovetop since this makes for less messing about and saves on washing up.
  • You will need gloves to coat the chicken pieces with the spices as turmeric will stain your hands yellow 😐 
  • 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, if you prefer, use chicken breast fillets, but they will be prone to drying out during the long cooking time.
  • Cooking for almost 2 hours allows the flavours to really get into the chicken and the sauce to become nice and thick.
  • Freshly baked flatbread for dipping and mopping is all else that's needed, or you can serve it with couscous.
    Chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons.

    Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

    chicken with preserved lemons, chicken tagine, chicken casserole
    main, dinner
    Yield: 4
    Author: Jan Bennett
    Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons

    Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons

    You don't have to have a Tagine to make this, you can just use a suitably sized lidded casserole dish and ideally one that can go on the stovetop.
    Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 1 H & 20 MTotal time: 1 H & 40 M


    • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 heaped tablespoon of rose harissa paste (Belazu brand is the best)
    • a good pinch of black pepper
    Rest of the ingredients
    • 8-10 boneless chicken thighs - skin on
    • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
    • 1 large onion - peeled and 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 very finely chopped to make almost 2 teaspoons
    • 180ml hot chicken stock made up using ½ of a Knorr chicken stock cube
    • a good pinch of saffron
    • 2 whole preserved lemons - sliced and chopped quite small
    • a good squeeze of runny honey
    • a handful of mixed green and black olives
    • a small handful of freshly torn coriander - leaves only


    Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F or Gas 4
    1. In a small bowl mix together the paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and the rose harissa paste.
    2. Add a tiny amount of vegetable oil and mix together. Using your hands the mixture over both sides of the chicken.
    3. Gloves would be good here, or your fingers will be stained yellow from the turmeric as that's what happened to mine!
    4. Heat a tablespoon of oil 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.
    5. Without washing the pan, tip in the sliced onion, and cook for about 10 minutes, until they are nice and soft; they will pick up a nice colour from the spice mixture left in the pan from cooking the chicken.
    6. When that has happened, add the courgettes along with the garlic and ginger and fry for just a minute - don't let them burn.
    7. Make up the chicken stock and crumble in the saffron, stirring well to dissolve.
    8. Add the preserved lemons and a good squeeze of runny honey.
    9. Give everything a good stir, put the chicken back in making sure it sits skin side up and on top of everything. Put the lid on your Tagine or casserole and pop into a preheated oven for about an hour.
    10. 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.
    11. Put 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.
    12. Scatter the torn coriander leaves and serve piping hot with some couscous and flatbread for dipping.
    Did you make this recipe?
    @aglugofoil #aglugofoil


    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.


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