Chicken with Olives and Preserved Lemons

The classic tagine.


Serves 4

Preparation Time

Cook time

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  • 1x 1kg whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1½ garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • ½ bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • 200ml cold water
  • juice from 2/3 lemon
  • 2/3 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2/3 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 2/3 cinnamon stick
  • 11/3 preserved lemons
  • 120g black or green olives, stones removed & cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Chop the onions and garlic finely and then chop the coriander and parsley separately.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a tagine and brown the chicken pieces on all sides over medium heat. Reduce the heat, add the onion and garlic to the pan and fry everything for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice, coriander, ground ginger, cumin, saffron, cinnamon and 200ml of water, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Place on the tagine lid and cook the chicken for 1½ hours over a very low heat. Check regularly that there is enough moisture in the tagine. If needed, add extra water as required.

Rinse the lemons and olives under cold water. Cut 1 lemon in four pieces and remove the pulp. Cut the skin in thin stripes. Stir the olives and lemon stripes in the tagine. Cut the remaining lemon into three pieces and put the pieces in the tagine. Replace the lid and let it simmer for a further 10 minutes. The sauce must be creamy. For a fuller flavour, you can add 2/3 of a chicken stock cube.

Sprinkle the chopped parsley on the tagine and serve.