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    Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives

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    Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives

    This is one of the best-known dishes of Morocco. It is gloriously different from anything from the other side of the Mediterranean, largely due to the absence of tomatoes, and the presence of preserved lemons, olives and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, saffron and turmeric. Moroccans traditionally serve this with bread alone, but I really like to serve it with couscous. Recipe courtesy of Rick Stein, taken from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes published by BBC Books, price £20.

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes
    • Cooking time: 90 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 55 minutes 60 minutes 55 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 1.5kg Free-range chicken
    • 1 Large onion, finely chopped in a food processor
    • 4 Garlic cloves, crushed
    • 100g Butter
    • 1 tbsp Ground ginger
    • 1 Cinnamon stick
    • ¾ tsp Turmeric
    • ¾ tsp Saffron strands
    • 3 tbsp Lemon juice
    • 100g Kalamata olives
    • 100g Small preserved lemons, halved, flesh discarded
    • 50g Chicken liver, chopped
    • 10g Coriander, chopped
    • 10g Flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped


    1. Put the chicken into a flameproof casserole, tagine or saucepan in which it will fit snugly. Add the onion, garlic, butter, ginger, cinnamon stick, turmeric and saffron; season. Pour in 700ml water, cover and bring to the boil over a medium-to-high heat. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer, spooning the sauce over the chicken and turning it over now and then until it is just cooked through – about 40 minutes. Lift the chicken onto a plate and cover with foil.
    2. Add the lemon juice to the casserole, increase the heat once more and simmer the sauce rapidly until reduced by about two-thirds. Return the chicken to the casserole with the olives and pieces of preserved lemon, cover with a well-fitting lid and simmer for a further 20–25 minutes until the chicken is tender. Lift the chicken onto a large, warmed platter.
    3. Add the chicken liver to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the herbs and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

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    Drinks recommendation

    The Corker recommends - The calm, serene and settled flavours of a top-notch Rioja make a beautiful contrast to the alluring exoticism of this Moorish chicken.


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