Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives

This is possibly the most famous of all Morrocan tagines. The lemons are preserved in salt, which makes even the skins edible once cooked and imparts a pungent salty sweet citrus flavour to the chicken. If you haven’t tried this, you haven’t lived!

Serves 4 - 6


  • 600g free-range skinless chicken legs or thighs
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Arabica Ras el HanoutBuy online
  • A generous pinch of black pepper
  • 1-2 Arabica Preserved LemonBuy online
  • 12 cracked green olives, de-stoned
  • A good handful of flat leaf parsley
  • Suggested Condiment:
  • Arabica chilli Sauce ( optional )Buy online


Put your tagine on the stove on a low heat.
While the tagine is gently heating up - soak the green olives in water to reduce the saltiness, changing the water a couple of times. Quarter the preserved lemons. Add the olive oil and the onions- slowly cook them until they soften and become translucent. Add the garlic and cook gently for a further 3 minutes. Dice the skinless chicken pieces into large morsels and then add to the tagine and cook for a further 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Stir in the Ras el hanout spices and pepper allowing the spices to cook in for a few minutes before adding the chicken stock (or water if you don’t have time). Bring to gentle simmer then cover and leave to cook on a low heat for 1 hour. Add the lemons and olives and leave uncovered and cook for a further 15 - 20mins to reduce the juices until - you should end up with a thick, citric, spicy gravy with chicken that is juicy, tender and falling apart .We usually balance the seasoning with the natural saltiness of the green olives and preserved lemons so wait until they’ve cooked in before adding any more salt according to taste.


Garnish with roughly chopped fresh flat leaf parsley and serve with some steamed couscous and our infamous Arabic Chilli Sauce on the side for those that like to live dangerously. 

Alternatively if couscous isn’t your thing or you can’t eat wheat then why not serve with some crispy roasted potatoes?