Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives


I have been wanting to try a Moroccan dish for a while now. A tagine is a type of ceramic dish used to cook a lot of Moroccan food. The idea of cooking with olives, harissa and preserved lemons was very intriguing because I had never tried anything like it. It took a while to make this dish because I had to preserve my own lemons. This recipe takes some effort to prepare but it is worth your time. Although it does look like the kitchen sink in terms of spices they all worked so well together and created a really unique dish. I do not own a tagine so I used a saute pan instead and it turned out fine. I would salt sparingly because the olives and lemons are already pretty salty. I paired this recipe with some Moroccan Couscous and it was very good together!

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives

(Makes 4+ Servings)

Printable Version


  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 preserved lemon, rinsed and sliced thin
  • 3/4 cup small green olives
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Mix the paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, salt and pepper in a bowl and pat onto the chicken.
  2. Heat the oil in a saute pan and add the chicken and brown on all sides. Set aside.
  3. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger and saute about a minute.
  5. Add the chicken stock and chicken, cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the preserved lemon, olives, harissa and honey and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

4 Thoughts on “Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives

  1. Pingback: Preserved Lemons | The Partial Ingredients

  2. I thought for a second if it was a curry dish, but I was wrong! It looks totally amazing and I would love to try since I’m a huge fan of olives… The photo looks beautiful as always:)

  3. thanks! It’s funny you would say that because I also thought that it would turn out similar to a curry. It tasted nothing like it though, even with a lot of similar ingredients (turmeric, cumin, etc).

  4. Rachel on June 6, 2013 at 1:21 am said:

    I made this for dinner tonight and my husband and I have just finished eating it. It was delicious and we are very pleased that it made enough for tomorrow night’s dinner too! I didn’t have any harissa so I made my own which worked out well too but added another hour on to the recipe time so next time I will ensure I buy some harissa paste in advance!

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