Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Olives

Good morning! Can you believe that is is February 1st! Where does the time go? 

How was your weekend? Mine like most was all about food. Because I have more time on the weekends I like to experiment or make things that are more time consuming than a regular weekday meal, and I love to make comfort food. 

This weekend I made an old standby and a family favorite, Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Olives from Williams Sonoma. If you like Moroccan food or spicy, aromatic dishes than this easy and scrumptious dish is perfect for you. The tender juicy chicken, olives and softened preserved lemons combined with the gravy combine to make a delicious meal. You can eat is as is, or serve it with brown rice or couscous. 

I make mine in a Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Moroccan Tagine but you can use a cast iron skillet or a dutch oven as well, they all work to achieve the same fabulous meal. 

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Olives
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma


  • 1/4 tsp. saffron threads 
  • 2 Tbs. warm water 
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus
      more for garnish 
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley,
      plus more for garnish 
  • 4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin 
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger 
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts **(see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups cracked green olives 
  • 2 preserved lemons, thinly sliced **(see note)
  • 1/2 cup  chicken broth


In a small bowl, soak the saffron in the warm water for 10 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the onions, the 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/2 cup parsley and 2 Tbs. of the lemon juice. Add the cumin, ginger, turmeric, the saffron and its soaking liquid and the salt. Process to a pulpy puree. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag. Add the garlic and 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the chicken breasts or thighs, seal the bag and massage to coat the chicken with the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

Put the olives in a large, heavy tagine or pan and add water to cover. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, then simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the olives and set aside. Thoroughly dry the pan with a paper towel. 

In the same tagine or pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then add the lemon slices and sear until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer lemon slices to a plate. Then add the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil to the tagine or pan. 

Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off the excess and reserving the marinade. Working in batches, sear the chicken, (skin side down if using thighs) until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes each. Transfer to another plate.

Pour the broth into the tagine or pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Stir in the reserved marinade and add the chicken and any juices from the plate. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 40 minutes.

Add the olives, the reserved lemon slices and the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the tagine or the pan with the chicken. Cover and simmer until the chicken is tender, 15-25 minutes. This time depends upon if you are using breasts or thighs and their size. The chicken should be fall off the bone tender. 

Garnish the stew with chopped cilantro and parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.


The original recipe calls for 6 bone in and skin on chicken thighs. 
Also, do not think that you cannot make this because you do not have any preserved lemons which usually take a couple of weeks! HERE is a link to a fast and easy "preserved" lemon recipe. 

What did you make this weekend? As I always say I love learning new recipes so if you have something that you love to make, bake or cook please share!

Have a great week!

Linking to:
Flour ME with Love


  1. I really need to make this; I saw some preserved lemons at Trader Joe's the other day and thought I should at least try this. When in Paris, I could NOT get enough Moroccan food!

    Good morning my dear and happy February!

  2. I love the combo of lemon with chicken. This looks positively delish.

  3. This looks SO GOOD Elizabeth! I love all the flavours. That preserved lemon can be a tricky one! I am happy to see your note. I also find that when I do manage to buy a jar of it...I rarely use it again. This is 'must do' recipe, no matter the weather. Many thanks!! :)

  4. Hi, my mouth is salivating just looking at this, my favourite meal. I always have it with couscous and my home preserved lemons. Yummy. Best Wishes Wendy

  5. Hello Elizabeth,
    I love chicken tagine too. This recipe looks delicious and so tempting.
    I will give it a try soon. Hope you are having a great week
    Helen xx

  6. This recipe looks delicious! I just found your blog from visiting Tone on Tone:)

  7. This looks delicious...bookmarking this to try when I get home! xoxo


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