Moroccan Preserved Lemon Chicken Tagine brings fall-off-the-bone tender chicken together with a bright flavor from preserved lemons and a savory burst of green olives. This recipe creates a perfectly comforting dish that is full of bright, spring flavors.
What is a Tagine?
A tagine (or tajine) is a Moroccan cooking vessel with a cone-shaped lid that perfectly channels the cooking steam back into the ingredients, keeping everything moist and juicy. If you don’t have a tagine, don’t worry. (As you can see from our pictures, neither do we.) A high-sided, cast iron skillet with a lid works quite well as a tagine replacement.
Preserved Lemon Tagine
Today, we’re diving once again into the wonderful world of tagines, but we’re taking the robust tagine flavor in a lighter a brighter direction with some Moroccan preserved lemons. You can buy preserved lemons from specialty food shops or you can make preserved lemons yourself.
Preserving lemons in a salt brine has been used since the 1800s (and maybe earlier) as a way to keep the fruits fresh for long journeys. The salt adds a unique savory element to the tartness of the lemons which brings a distinct bright flavor to any dish that they are used in.
Moroccan Preserved Lemon Chicken Tagine
One of the most well known Moroccan tagines is probably the chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives. The lemons add a springy brightness to the chicken and the olives add an extra savory punch to the dish.
If you’re not a huge fan of green olives, try the dish with black, Kalamata olives for a slightly different, but just as tasty flavor.
By slow cooking the chicken in the tagine, you end up with meat so tender you can cut it with your fork. Add some of the lemony and herby sauce and a piece of moroccan flatbread and you are in for a real North African treat!
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp saffron threads, crumbled
- 1 (3-4 lb) whole chicken* , skin removed, cut into serving-size pieces
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 onions, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ - 1/3 c green olives, pitted
- 2 preserved lemons, quartered and seeds removed
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ c water or chicken stock
- In a small bowl, mix together ginger, turmeric, and saffron. Rub the spice mixture into the skinned chicken pieces. Place the chicken on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the seasoned chicken for 3-4 hours or overnight.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour before you would like to start cooking.
- When you are ready to cook your chicken, heat the oil over medium high heat in a tagine or high-sided cast iron skillet with a tight fitting lid. Add the diced onions and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and soft.
- Layer the chicken pieces over the bed of sautéed onions. Add the olives, lemon pieces, and water (or stock). Scatter the chopped parsley and cilantro over top of the ingredients in the skillet).
- Cover the skilled and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer the mixture, covered for 2 hours, checking occasionally and adding extra water or chicken stock if the mixture looks too dry after an hour of cooking.
- After 2 hours, remove the skillet from the heat and let it stand, covered, for 10-15 minutes before serving with Moroccan bread, rice, or couscous.
*Check out the easiest way to deconstruct a whole chicken.
A Sunday Supper Tribute To Fathers
Today, the Sunday Supper crew is celebrating Dad’s favorite recipes. Tim’s Dad loves to try different foods, and loves the full flavor and tender meat of Moroccan tagines. He loves cooking cultural dishes as well, so a few Father’s Day’s back we got him a tagine so he could have the full experience of tagine cooking. We’re not sure if he’s ever tried a Preserved Lemon Chicken Tagine before, but we’re sure he’d love it!
Thanks to Sarah of The Chef Next Door for hosting this week’s Sunday Supper tribute to Fathers. Take a look at the rest of these Father’s favorite dishes below!
Appetizers & Snacks:
- Best Popcorn Ever (with Nutritional Yeast!!) by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Easy Homemade Pretzel Recipe by April Golightly
- Nana’s Pimento Cheese by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Bourbon Sweet Tea Cocktail by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Dad’s Favorite Blueberry Pancakes by Family Around The Table
- Steak & Egg Breakfast Skillet by Caroline’s Cooking
Condiments & Sauces:
- Apple Crisp by Ninja Baker
- Banana Berry Bread by Desserts Required
- Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream by Simple and Savory
- Black Bourbon Walnut Brownies with Maple-Candied Bacon by The Crumby Cupcake
- Blueberry Ice Cream Cookie Bars by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Cherry Garcia Bars by Pies and Plots
- Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcakes by Crazed Mom Lifestyle & Recipes
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Coconut Cream Pie by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Tempura Strawberries by Baking Sense
- German Chocolate Brownie Pie by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Graham Cracker Chocolate Chunk No-Churn Ice Cream by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Grilled Fruit Kabobs with Fresh Whipped Cream by Helpful Homemade
- Peach Crumble Bars by The Finer Cookie
- Personal Banana Cream Pie by Food Lust People Love
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie by The Chef Next Door
- Maizena Tamal by Basic N Delicious
- Mom’s Carrot Cake by Jennifer Cooks
- Bacon Patty Melts by Cookin’ Mimi
- BBQ Salmon Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing by PancakeWarriors
- Beef Shepherd’s Pie Casserole by Cooking Chat
- Buffalo Chicken Tacos by Palatable Pastime
- Carolina-Style BBQ Burger by The Redhead Baker
- Coffee-Rubbed Prime Rib Roast by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Fried Chicken by Tramplingrose
- Grilled Chicken and Beef Stir Fry by The Freshman Cook
- Grilled Filet Mignon with Zip Sauce by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Italian Sausage and Peppers by Monica’s Table
- Moroccan Preserved Lemon Chicken Tagine by Curious Cuisiniere
- Philly Style Slow Roasted Pork Sandwich with Broccoli Rabe and Provolone by The Hungry Goddess
- Sharp Cheddar and Crispy Onion Burgers with Horseradish Sauce by A Mind Full Mom
- Skillet Spaghetti and Meatballs by From Gate to Plate
- Spicy Fish Tacos with Garlic-Chive Aioli by Wholistic Woman
- Turkey Chorizo Burgers with Guacamole by Books n’ Cooks
- Vegetarian “Philly Cheesesteak” by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Walnut Cauliflower Zucchini Boats by Beauty and the Beets
Plus What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day from Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
DISCLOSURE: This post does include Amazon affiliate links. These links are provided to help you find some of the more specialty ingredients we mention in the recipe. If you make a purchase on Amazon after following our affiliate links, we do receive a small commission from Amazon, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Curious Cuisiniere!