Chicken Tagine | Romantic Moroccan Dinner

My mother and father in-law are such foodies. Whenever the hubby and I visit them, there is no shortage of feasting on some drool worthy dish they whip up. One of the meals that I’ve been blessed to try was this Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons. They served it with a side of steamed couscous and variety of Moroccan dips and salads. Ever since then I have been hypnotized by the flavor of this chicken, so I decided to quit my day dreaming and give this Moroccan recipe a try.

I also served the chicken with steamed couscous and spiced carrots with feta and mint. For dessert we had some Moroccan style orange slices. Cooking the chicken in a tagine makes the chicken so tender and full of flavor. If you don’t have a tagine you can also bake the chicken in a casserole or heavy pot.

Why not turn it into a romantic dinner for two? Throw on some music like Al Andulus Ensemble or Capella de Ministrers, set you table for two, light some candles and just like that you are magically transported to Morocco for one hot night in Marrakesh.


Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons

Serves 2

Cook time: 35 mins


1 lb chicken thighs

1/2 red onion (finely chopped)

1/2 preserved lemon

10 purple/ green olives

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon clarified butter


1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

A pinch of saffron threads


  1. Cut the preserved lemon in half and separate the flesh from the peel. Save the peel for later. Chop the preserved lemon pulp.
  2. Place the chopped lemon pulp in a tagine along with olive oil, clarified butter, garlic, parsley, cilantro, all the spices and 1/2 cup of cold water. Mix well.
  3. Add the chicken to the pot and pierce with sharp knife so that the spices can be absorbed. Mix all the ingredients until the chicken is nicely coated.
  4. Add chopped onion to the pot and mix well.
  5. On medium low heat, sear the chicken for 15 minutes. The Tagine should be closed to keep moisture in. Turn each piece over and add water if needed. Make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  6. Add 1/2 cup cold water. Turn up the heat to medium, cover the tagine and bring it to a boil. Cook covered for 30 mins or until the chicken is done. Be sure to keep an eye on the chicken and add water if needed. There should always be 1 cup of sauce in the tagine so that it doesn’t burn.
  7. Once the chicken is done, add the lemon peel and olives to the tagine. Cook uncovered for a few minutes so the sauce can thicken slightly.

Serve with steamed couscous and this delicious Moroccan Spiced Carrots with Feta and Mint. This chicken tagine recipe I used is from this La Maison Arabe Moroccan Cooking book.

For the Moroccan style orange slices.

Peel and slice an orange crosswise. Sprinkle lightly with 1 teaspoon orange blossom water, cinnamon and powdered sugar. Chill before you serve.

Chicken tagine with preserved lemons



Chicken tagine with preserved lemons






Comment below if you’ve ever made Moroccan food and let me know some of your favorite dishes. I just love cooking with a tagine and I’m looking for other recipes to try. Share if you’ve got any.



2 responses to “Chicken Tagine | Romantic Moroccan Dinner”

  1. Vim says:

    Wow that looks great, will have to give it a try!

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