chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives


This was inspired by our trip to Marrakech last year for mum's 60th birthday. We ate tagines pretty much every day and they were amazing. You can use a heavy-bottomed pot (e.g. a cast iron one) if you don't have a tagine - it's not totally necessary to have an actual tagine, but they do keep the heat and moisture in much better...

Makes: 4 servings


  1. remove the flesh from the preserved lemon and finely chop it. Add the chopped lemon flesh to a bowl along with the chicken, onion, garlic, coriander, parsley, spices and mix well; allow to marinate overnight or for at least a few hours
  2. add enough olive to the pan / tagine to coat the bottom. Arrange chicken in the tagine flesh side down and distribute onions all around.
  3. add olives and preserved lemon quarters and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken. Add the stock to the tagine, cover and place on medium-low heat.
  4. give the tagine time to reach a simmer without peeking. If there's no sound of simmering after 20 mins, slightly increase the heat then maintain the lowest heat setting for a gentle (slow) simmer.
  5. allow chicken to cook undisturbed for 80-90 mins and then turn the chicken over so it is flesh side up. Cover and allow chicken to finish cooking until tender.
  6. rest for 10-15 mins after turning off. Serve with bread, french fries or couscous.


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of coriander (fresh), chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric / tagine spice mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 handful green / violet olives
  • 1 preserved lemon, quartered, seeds removed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup hot vegetable stock (an Oxo cube is fine)