Braised Moroccan Chicken and Olives


Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

This flavorful dish was inspired by two of my favorite Moroccan ingredients- olives and preserved lemons. They work beautifully together in this dish to add a ton of flavor to the sauce. In addition, braising the chicken makes the meat wonderfully tender and juicy. Serve this dish over a bed of couscous to soak up all of the delicious sauce.

Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

Food52 Review: This is a pitch-perfect take on a classic dish. Sonali assembles a mouth-tingling spice mixture of ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, saffron and then adds green olives and preserved lemons to the party. The chicken is browned in oil (it's worth taking your time with this step, as you don't want it to burn) and then coated in the spice base before simmering gently in chicken stock until tender. Adding the lemons and olives towards the end helps retain their integrity and perfume. You may want to discard some of the fat after browning the chicken (this will depend on the meat you buy) -- we kept about 2 tablespoons. And couscous is a must. We used our favorite Israeli couscous (which Amanda blogged about a while back) and it was such a perfect foil for the rich, spicy sauce that we couldn't resist forking up every last grain. - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 min

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken legs and thighs
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1 pinch Black pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups small diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock, more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/2 cup green olives, rinsed
  • 2 preserved lemons, pulp removed; rind cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or large, deep skillet or over medium high heat. Dry the chicken pieces and season them with salt and pepper. Place them in the skillet in batches and brown on all sides. Remove the chicken and place on a plate.
  2. Add the onion to the skillet and cook until slightly softened. Add the ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric and cayenne pepper and stir together. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat with the spice mixture. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet so that 2/3 of the chicken is submerged. Add the saffron and stir to combine. Bring liquid to a simmer, cover the skillet and simmer on medium low heat 20-25 minutes. Add the olives and preserved lemons. Cover and cook another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and turn the heat to high. Cook for another 6-8 minutes until sauce reduces slightly. Stir in the cilantro. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Serve chicken on a bed of couscous. Spoon sauce over the top. Garnish with cilantro.

More Great Recipes:
Stew|Moroccan|Cilantro|Coriander|Cumin|Olive|Paprika|Saffron|Turmeric|Chicken|Braise|Make Ahead

Reviews (188) Questions (4)

188 Reviews

Chris P. December 16, 2018
Amazing recipe. Absolutely love the spices and the way the sauce mixes with the olives.
 
Natalie November 26, 2018
Is the chicken supposed to be skinless or skin on??
 
Linda November 27, 2018
Skin on
 
Natalie November 27, 2018
Amazing!! I just made it for dinner. I did make the mistake of adding more salt before I added the olives and preserved lemon -- they add a ton of salt to the dish! I did find the chicken skin a little bit unpleasant since it's not crispy, but soft and chewy. Is it meant to be this way?
 
Max September 20, 2018
Added dried apricots along with the olives. Everything came out so freaking good. Nice and flavorful, especially on day two. Will keep this in my recipe rolodex for sure.
 
Linda June 20, 2018
OMG...this is just the most flavorful dish! I made this last week-end for friends who have just returned from Marrakesh and they said it was better than what they ate there. I made it the day before to allow the flavors to settle in. Served it with Moroccan carrots and Israeli couscous. It was so outstanding that I'm making it again in 2 weeks for our gourmet dinner group. The only change I made was adding more olives.
 
MBE June 17, 2018
Yum! The only thing I will change next time is to omit the saffron. I fell like it gets overwhelmed by the cumin etc. so will save this $$ ingredient for recipes where it shines. The best part of this recipe is that the leftovers are as good if not better than the day it is cooked :-)
 
ASeaWulf May 1, 2018
One of my favorite recipes of all time! I make this constantly and have started to add lots of other veggies and dried fruits to the mix like carrots, zucchini, and prunes.
 
Analida B. February 22, 2018
This dish sounds lovely!<br />I like to take a whole roaster chicken and cut it into pieces and slow cook it in a tagine on the stovetop or slow cooker and add some thinly sliced potatoes at the end. https://ethnicspoon.com/moroccan-chicken-tagine/
 
steve February 15, 2018
I use a very similar recipe that I found in Molly Stevens classic cookbook, All About Braising.<br />
 
Karen B. February 13, 2018
made this last weekend and it was wonderful! i added some red peppadew peppers when i put the olives in and it was a nice addition to the Moroccan Chicken dish.
 
rebecca P. August 15, 2017
I made this a few days ago for friends. I found preserved lemon at a specialty store and used that. Once I tasted the lemons (after rinsing and removing pith) I only used about half what the recipe called for to avoid too strong a flavor. Results were really delicious! I used mostly thighs w some breast meat. Breast was fine but not as good as the thigh, as predicted.
 
catdaddysammy July 20, 2017
I made this last night in my new dutch oven and it turned out fantastic. I couldn't find preserved lemons so I just baked some lemon slices until they were tender and it worked famously. Such great flavors here!!! I also popped the chicken thighs under the broiler for a few minutes while the sauce was reducing to crisp up the skin and it turned out delicious!!! Great recipe.
 
Stephanie B. March 25, 2017
I've made this several times. It's earned a place in my rotation, it's absolutely one of my favorite chicken stew type recipes. I think what really makes it for me is the preserved lemons. I make these ones: https://food52.com/recipes/853-preserved-lemons. I think they're absolutely worth the 4-5 day wait. They make this recipe and if you can plan to make the lemons the rest of the recipe comes together quickly. I use a different type of olive than the usual green, I wish I remember what they're called, but they're more round and a brighter green with a more mild flavor.
 
Gina B. February 17, 2017
This is my new fave recipe. I use Smoked Paprika Dolce and half the cayenne. Also add 1 TB honey to balance. And reduce the sauce! Excellent flavor.
 
liz January 7, 2017
I have a few picky white-meat eaters coming to dinner. Do you think this could work with breast meat on the bone or cut into chunks?
 
liz January 7, 2017
nevermind! comments answered my question :)
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. January 7, 2017
I was going to say definitely bone-in chicken breast so that it doesn't dry out :)
 
mizerychik January 7, 2017
You might also want to brine the white meat ahead of time. A lemon zest and cumin brine would definitely add moisture and great flavor to the chicken breasts.
 
girlwithaknife December 11, 2016
Made this tonight as written except I subbed fresh lemon zest for preserved lemon, and added more zest and juice at the end. Served with roasted cauliflower and dinner was SO good!! Not exactly a weeknight meal as it took at least 45 minutes but I think it would freeze great.
 
girlwithaknife December 11, 2016
We had the chicken with naan. So good that we saved the sauce and added the cauliflower to it. Will add chickpeas for another meal!
 
CanadaDan August 15, 2016
I made this without saffron since i didn't have any, and replaced the coriander with parsley and it was beyond good. Super easy and quick and packed with flavour, i wouldn't have changed a thing. thanks!
 
Yayita July 30, 2016
I absolutely plan to make this again because it was delicious despite some deviations: 3lbs of chicken instead of 2.5, skinless thighs, using 2 cups of beef broth instead of chicken (didn't have chicken), and adding slices of lemon as I didn't have preserved lemons. Every time I reheated it for lunch my coworker would say it smelled good and tasted even better the following day. And to top it off, my BF, picky eater that doesn't like "sauces" said that it was the type of food he could keep eating. This one is keeper! Thanks :D
 
Janet June 20, 2016
I found this bland, probably because there was too much broth. I might try it again but will really scale back the liquid. The chicken thighs I used cooked really quickly after browning; next time I might try removing the skin and dredging them in chickpea flour to reduce the fat and provide some thickening to the sauce. I like the idea of adding apricots.
 
Christina S. July 11, 2016
I just made this and it was out of control flavorful (and I'm used to eating heavily spiced food). I used skinless chicken thighs. I also used a Dutch oven that had a loose fitting lid so I ended up skipping the last step of reducing the sauce. I'd definitely try it again if you fancy!
 
linda June 15, 2016
thank you for sharing! we took this stew and a large bowl of couscous and had a mini dinner party al fresco last night. it was wonderful.
 
ghainskom April 3, 2016
Reminiscent of poulet yassa. But the spices blend lends it another dimension. Yummy, really.
 
juleeclip March 6, 2016
Made this last night and it was fantastic. I too could not get ahold of preserved lemons and so I sliced two lemons very thinly, put them on a baking sheet with parchment paper, olive oil, salt and roasted at 350 for about twenty minutes and then chopped them up and it worked perfectly. Great recipe and easy enough for weeknights.
 
Beth K. March 2, 2016
Thanks, Sonali. I used fresh lemon juice and it was absolutely delicious. I'm going to make sure to try it the way you intended - if it was this good without the preserved lemons, I can't imagine how insane it is with them.
 
Beth K. March 1, 2016
I'm in the middle of cooking this for dinner but just discovered I'm out of preserved lemons. Will regular, fresh ones do? If so, any suggestions?<br />
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. March 2, 2016
Sorry, just saw this. How did the dish turn out?
 
CristyLeeNYC March 2, 2016
I made this this past weekend and realized too late that I was out of preserved lemons. I took fresh ones, sautéed them in a skillet w some light tasting olive oil, and then added a little salt and roasted them in an oven at 350 for maybe 1/2 hour-45 min. Included the juices, removed pulp. I was surprised how well it worked. (This dish is a go to for our household and the preserved lemons are one of my fav elements, to put this in perspective) Hope this helps anyone in the same predicament in the future!
 
Dylan February 23, 2016
My girlfriend and I have probably made this 10 times, it's one of our favorites! I've found that adding a cup of white wine when you toss in the onions helps build up the base really well.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. March 2, 2016
White wine is a great idea!
 
danielle W. February 11, 2016
Ive made this 2x in the past 2 months and its such a hit I am making it again tonight. Great flavors!
 
jbfalise December 20, 2015
Sooooo good!
 
mizerychik November 30, 2015
I really like this with a bag of frozen artichoke hearts added to it. They work nicely with the garlic, lemon, and olives.
 
Josie M. November 6, 2015
Where do people buy preserved lemons? I know I could make them myself, but I'm looking to simplify a bit.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. November 6, 2015
You can find them at stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or Williams Sonoma. You can even buy them online at Amazon.
 
Janet June 20, 2016
You can make them easily and keep them in the freezer. I used a New York Times recipe on the Cooking blog.
 
Food63 September 9, 2015
This has been part of my regular rotation ever since the first time I made it (seriously, we LOVE this). It's delicious! My only changes consist of including about 15 halved dried apricots and a 15.5 oz. can of rinsed chickpeas when I'm adding the olives and preserved lemon. If you have all the ingredients, it's a quick easy and very tasty meal. And if you're lucky enough to have leftovers, they're equally delicious the next day.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. November 6, 2015
I'm so glad to hear it! I love your addition of apricots and chickpeas- I'll have to try it out!
 
Sf2oak August 12, 2015
has anyone tried the trader joes preserved lemons? if so what do you think?
 
Grace H. May 19, 2015
This was soooooooo fantastic!!! I made it with Ina Garten's Moroccan couscous and they paired perfectly together! I used 4 chicken legs but in my opinion the sauce can accommodate 6. Great recipe!
 
Ellen January 22, 2015
This was tasty but the chicken was a bit tough. Will definitely try again, though, and maybe just cook on a lower flame during the braising phase. I loved the way the lemon and olives tasted so would definitely increase the amount of each (1 cup olives and 3 lemons).
 
Jillian January 17, 2015
I would love this as it looks delicious but I here is the nutritional information? I have dietary restrictions and would live to know the fat, carbs and protein amounts. Thanks!
 
Sara S. September 29, 2015
This little online tool is the BEST for calculating recipe nutritional status. Input each ingredient and it will give you a total in every category. I love it!<br />http://www.caloriecount.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php
 
Jenny January 13, 2015
Saw this recipe mentioned in Food & Wine and had to try it. It's outstanding - especially perfect in winter when you want something spicy and warming, yet not too heavy. And despite all of the ingredients, it comes together quickly enough for a weeknight dinner. I served it with quinoa toasted with a little olive oil. So happy I now have a big jar of preserved lemons, because this one is going into heavy rotation!
 
keg72 January 12, 2015
I made this over the weekend and thought it was delicious. Due to time constraints on my end, I actually prepared it Saturday and then refrigerated it (the chicken, sauce, everything in one pot) until Sunday night. I then reheated it over a low flame, and it was perfect! The other thing I wanted to mention is that I halved the cayenne pepper because I'm a bit of a wimp, and I still felt the heat. Just something for others to consider . . . . Thanks for a great recipe!
 
Merry November 24, 2014
Do I rinse the rinds?<br />
 
Lauren W. November 23, 2014
Lauren<br />When you say use 2 preserved lemons, do you mean 2 whole lemons or 2 quarters of a lemon from a jar of preserved lemons? Can't wait to make this!
 
Svetlana P. September 10, 2014
This i amazing recipe! My family loved it. Only, instead of preserved lemons I found a very delicious lemon-ginger marmalade and added 3 teaspoons of it to the dish. Very tasty!
 
Beth100 August 11, 2014
We loved this(!) and as was noted in the recipe's headnotes, the flavors are beautifully balanced. Thank you for sharing a new go-to recipe!
 
Beth100 August 8, 2014
I can't wait to try this! Boneless/skinless thighs, or bone in with skin?
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. August 9, 2014
Bone in with skin works best. You can remove the skin before serving to cut some calories/fat. I'm sure the recipe would also work with boneless, skinless thighs but I haven't tried it that way.
 
Beth100 August 9, 2014
Perfect, thanks! I have everything ready to make this tomorrow morning and serve tomorrow evening.
 
ama August 4, 2014
So good! I didn't have a few things (turmeric, cumin, saffron), so I substituted Sazon mix (I always have some) instead. And no preserved lemons, so I just threw some lemon slices in the pan instead. I reduced this recipe by more than one half using boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Served with brown rice made with coconut and chicken stock. This recipe is SUCH a keeper. I'm very happy. Thank you!
 
Andrew M. October 9, 2015
Please share your recipe for brown rice with coconut and chicken stock :)
 
Smw2170 July 8, 2014
I just made this last night and it was SO GOOD!!! I will definitely be adding this to the regular rotation of my go-to dishes, I'm so glad I found this!
 
SweetTooth June 9, 2014
Really excellent! I served it with black rice and I thought the sweetness of the rice complemented the sauce very well. Everyone thought it was delicious. There were several of us who did not care for green olives and we thought the olives were great. One thing I would say: if you are using "quick" preserved lemons, rinse them *very* well and use less salt on the chicken. The dish was a little salty between the lemons I used, the olives, and the chickens (I tended towards the semi-generous side for seasoning my chicken).
 
Caroline S. February 8, 2014
I just had this for dinner! It was wonderful.... served with rice. My hubby loved it too. Can't wait to give some to my neighbour tomorrow. YUMMY to the MAX
 
Chef B. February 7, 2014
If it is bitter, you may have had the heat too high and something burned on the bottom. However, you can add more broth, and try adding some honey or agave syrup to tone it down a bit. The prunes or dry apricots would need to be added at the beginning of the cooking process in order to benefit the sauce.
 
Bali M. February 6, 2014
I just made this and reduced the sauce. While it is pretty -- my sauce is too spicy and bitter. Can you suggest what I can do? I am slightly desperate. I could pull out the chicken and add more broth and something to sweeten the sauce? Honey? Agave? Prunes?
 
wisesamsmum February 6, 2014
Hi Sonali, I finally made this after months of drooling over the pictures and procrastinating. I'm so mad that I waited this long, because it was truly divine! Would you believe it, my 17-month old ate it all up, chicken, sauce, olives and all and pronounced it 'nummy' (yummy). Thanks for a brilliant recipe!
 
Muse December 12, 2013
This sounds delicious...I have a question: can you use chicken breasts instead of thighs and dark meat? Thank you for posting your recipe...Peace, Light and Love.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. December 17, 2013
Yes, you can use chicken breast but I would use bone-in, skin on chicken breasts so that the meat doesn't dry out.
 
LeeLeeBee December 3, 2013
This recipe was a big hit! I used one and a half homemade preserved lemons, since mine were quite big, and omitted the saffron. I also added a handful of dried currants during the reduction of the sauce; I found that I needed a little sweetness to balance the saltiness and sourness of the lemons. I served it with vegetariannirvana's Citrus Olive Couscous (http://food52.com/recipes/9476-citrus-olive-couscous).
 
kschurms September 12, 2013
I just made this tonight for a get together with friends, and despite some alterations, this was still delicious. Preserved lemons were substituted with regular + zest, and we didn't have any couscous, rice, etc. due to grain-free dietary restrictions. However, I saved the leftover sauce to mix in with Israeli couscous tomorrow because it was just that good! Cannot wait.
 
david September 16, 2013
That sounds great! How did you add the regular lemons?
 
Gisele73 September 2, 2013
Made this for my birthday dinner. It was terrific, festive, not difficult, and introduced me to two ingredients I'd hesitated to try before, preserved lemons and saffron. Thanks!
 
deborah August 25, 2013
This was yummy! I didn't have any olives, preserved lemons or raisins so I used lemon zest and dried cranberries. Added a dash of white wine for the stock. I'm definitely going to make this again.
 
mic79 August 4, 2013
tried it and it was GREEAT
 
Shira H. June 14, 2013
how long does this take to make?
 
Chef B. June 15, 2013
This is a slow cooking dish in a tagine, it would take about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The prep time would be about 30 minutes. You cook at a very low temperature with a tagine. A very slow simmer using a heat diffuser. You could accomplish the same dish using a braising pot.
 
Katie1 June 9, 2013
A wonderful recipe. I'll try it for my next home party. Everyone loves chicken!
 
Chef B. June 3, 2013
This is a wonderful Moroccan dish well suited for a tagine. I have made this dish and variations of it with lamb or beef many times using a tagine. It can be made in just about anything you can braise in with great success as many here have indicated. Maybe, not everyone would enjoy Moroccan food, but for those that do this is a great dish to make.
 
Ileana M. May 31, 2013
Made this last night. It was wonderful!! Couldn't get my hands on preserved lemons, so we subbed in lemon zest and juice. Seriously delicious dinner. May throw in some golden raisins next time. Thanks for this recipe!
 
Sandra August 15, 2013
I love the idea of golden raisins added. Will try that next time. Ive done this recipe both with preserved lemons and lemon zest when out of preserved ones. Both turned out well.
 
CristyLeeNYC May 24, 2013
This was fantastic! The only place I deviated from the recipe was cook time (guests were late so I let it braise on the stovetop for a good long while before reducing the sauce). The chicken was succulent and flavorful, and the sauce was wonderful. Right before serving, I popped the entire dish under the broiler to re-crisp the skin. DUHlicious. I used a mix of green olive varieties, but my favorite were the Castelvetranos in this. Word of warning: The cayenne was too much for my husband (who had the misfortune of growing up in the Blandest House Ever and ate like a 5-year old until I met him). It's not a fiery burn, just a nice buzz on the back end. If you've got anyone who is particularly intolerant to heat, lighten up on the cayenne.
 
Knokachoo May 21, 2013
Thanks to The Wimpy Vegitarian...Kudos!
 
Knokachoo May 20, 2013
Just a comment. Was my first and probably my last. Didn't mean to offend anyone.
 
No offense taken here, Knokachoo! I've been to culinary school, and I'm actually one of the ones that did get this (the herb picking, washing, etc) as my first job. But obviously not everyone in my class got this job; we didn't need THAT much herbs :-) LOL. I really, really hated it. Luckily, halfway through our culinary program we all got new assignments. My Chef told me I might have to keep the job if noone else wanted it. I told her, with all due respect of course, that I would pay cold hard cash to someone, anyone, to do it. Luckily it didn't get that far, but she got the point. There were no regulations that would have prevented me from doing it, and clearly I was done. Next, I got the lucky job of making sure all the flour, sugar, salts, and a long list of things was always filled in the kitchen and was ordered on time. I liked that a LOT better :-). Never be afraid of commenting here - we all have opinions, but it's a big, supportive group on the whole, and it's a great opportunity to connect to some of us here.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. May 20, 2013
I agree with TheWimpyVegetarian and I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my dish!
 
Knokachoo May 19, 2013
I've never been to an official "Culinary School" but every time I am picking, washing, drying and chopping fresh herbs I think..."This must be the first job they give a student"...If they stick it out they must be serious!
 
YoungChef23 May 20, 2013
Well I have been to culinary school and its not the first job they give you
 
rinkatink April 9, 2013
I haven't been this excited by a recipe for a while and to my great pleasure, my anticipation was well-rewarded. I made this dish last night and have a sneaking suspicion that it'll make a reappearance later this week (and many many times more). I have two large jars of yujacha, a Korean citrus marmalade, that I spooned roughly 6 tablespoons of in place of the preserved lemon; I also used stuffed green olives. I imagine the flavor profile was a bit different from the original, but it was eyeball-rollingly tasty nonetheless. Thank you so much for sharing!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. May 20, 2013
That sounds like an interesting interpretation of the dish, yum! So glad you liked it!
 
YoungChef23 March 24, 2013
Anyone know if you can put this in the slow cooker and how long it would take ?
 
MoroccanHomeCook March 24, 2013
I would not recommend it, slow cookers have this magical ability to bland and mush everything up. If you don't want to cook it on the stove top, you can put it in the oven with barely enough liquid to cover the bottom of your oven pan (a cast iron is my ultimate favorite), and please don't follow the recipe for the liquid quantities, nobody IN morocco would ever put 2-3 cups of stock in a braised chicken recipe!!. Cover it (just a wet wax sheet will do), and then let it cook on low for about 40 to 50min. Put the olives in 10 minutes before it's done and serve with wedges of preserved lemon on top.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. May 20, 2013
I don't own a slow cooker so I don't know how it would turn out. I usually braise my dishes on the stove or in the oven. Did you end up trying it?
 
Lemoni February 18, 2013
Ugh, I accidentally bought pimiento-stuffed green olives. Are they useable in this?
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. February 18, 2013
I would taste them and see how you like them. You can use any type of green olive in this dish so if you like them, I would say yes, give it a try!
 
vivavo February 8, 2013
This is my absolute favorite thing to make. I made a small modification (using citrus marmalade instead of preserved lemon). This is my go-to meal for guests...although I need to start keeping a list of who I've made it for to make sure I don't serve it to the same people twice! My version here: http://www.thingsimadetoday.com/2013/01/25/braised-moroccan-chicken-with-couscous/
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. February 18, 2013
So glad you like it and great post!
 
artmarysf February 1, 2013
Great!!! Love it ..followed the original recipe.The sauce has so many layers of flavor..I have made this twice with large Israeli couscous.A new crowd pleaser..
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. February 5, 2013
Thanks for your comment, so glad you enjoyed it!
 
Madame S. January 21, 2013
I just made this and it was AMAZING! I didn't have olives or preserved lemons on hand so I left them out. I can only imagine what they add to the dish. I served it on top of couscous with Meyer lemon zest, peas and pine nuts with lemon broccoli on the side (steamed broccoli with a little squeeze of Meyer lemon). I think I enjoyed the sauce more than the chicken!!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. February 5, 2013
So glad you liked it! I think you'll like the sauce even more with the olives and preserved lemons- they add a unique flavor.
 
student E. December 17, 2012
this is one of my food52 favorites! only two changes i make: about 4x as many olives (my husband wishes i would add 8x as many!) and i don't discard the preserved lemon pulp, but just toss it in. really a stand out recipe!
 
student E. December 17, 2012
p.s. as a medical student, i got to love it even more because sonali is a physician foodie!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. February 4, 2013
Thanks! My husband's not a huge olive fan otherwise I would add more too!
 
cindylaning October 29, 2012
I have made this about 20 times now. Absolutely delicious. I always feel like I have too much liquid but letting things cook down and burn off for 20 minutes does the trick
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. November 6, 2012
Thanks Cindy, so glad to hear that you like it! I suppose you could add a thickening agent at the end to thicken up the sauce but I prefer to just let it reduce. I like lots of sauce to soak up the couscous!
 
EmilyC September 24, 2012
Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! Instead of adding the spices in step 2, I rubbed them into the chicken about an hour before I started cooking the dish. I served it with couscous and broccoli with lemon and toasted almonds. Looking forward to leftovers!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. September 24, 2012
That's a great idea! Glad you enjoyed it- the leftovers taste even better.
 
MoroccanHomeCook September 16, 2012
There is no doubt, this is a wonderful moroccan dish, I'm just surprised when you say it's "inspired by two moroccan ingredients" and the it's a "take on a classic dish" when it's exactly the traditional moroccan recipe of chicken with preserved lemon and olives, known for centuries. The only thing that is not authentic is the couscous, we never serve it with that dish but who says it can't be good either. <br /> <br />To be even more authentic, you can omit the cayenne pepper and use less chicken stock, and of course olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. September 24, 2012
Well actually you misquoted me twice. I didn't say that my recipe was inspired by two Moroccan ingredients, I said that it's "inspired by two of my favorite Moroccan ingredients." I also did not write the line about it being a take on a classic dish, rather the editors wrote that in their notes. Even classic dishes have several versions and I was merely trying to say that this dish is my interpretation of a classic dish with some changes I made to suit my taste. As you pointed out in your comment, there are several changes you would have made to the recipe to make it more "authentic." Thanks for your comment and I hope you like the dish if you give it a try!
 
irinaleibo September 4, 2012
I make this with Ras el Hanout and add dates. <br />Fantastic! <br />Cheers <br />irina
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. September 11, 2012
Those sound like great additions- so glad you liked it!
 
chefkayser July 11, 2012
I'm eating this as leftovers as I write this. I thought it was good last night... but today I think it is amazing! I didn't have preserved lemons so I substituted for zest of one lemon, and I think that worked just fine. Thanks so much for the recipe!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. September 11, 2012
So glad you liked it and I agree that the flavors are even better the next day!
 
meglet February 13, 2012
Argh, multiple comment postings, can't delete! *pokes eyes out with apple corer*
 
meglet February 13, 2012
I made this last night, and we liked it very much indeed. <br /> <br />My cumin was fresher than the other spices, so it overwhelmed the dish and made it taste more subcontinental than Saharan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I made a last-minute correction by adding a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade. It worked a treat, and I'm childishly proud of myself for being able to predict the ingredient that would be able to shift continents, if not mountains. <br /> <br />The recipe will go in the regular rotation, with a note saying "Use stale cumin." Maybe I'll go buy some stale cumin just to keep on hand for this recipe -- should be easy enough to find in the stores.
 
meglet February 13, 2012
I made this last night, and we liked it very much indeed. <br /> <br />My cumin was fresher than the other spices, so it overwhelmed the dish and made it taste more subcontinental than Saharan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I made a last-minute correction by adding a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade. It worked a treat, and I'm childishly proud of myself for being able to predict the ingredient that would be able to shift continents, if not mountains. <br /> <br />The recipe will go in the regular rotation, with a note saying "Use stale cumin." Maybe I'll go buy some stale cumin just to keep on hand for this recipe -- should be easy enough to find in the stores.
 
meglet February 13, 2012
I made this last night, and we liked it very much indeed. <br /> <br />My cumin was fresher than the other spices, so it overwhelmed the dish and made it taste more subcontinental than Saharan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I made a last-minute correction by adding a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade. It worked a treat, and I'm childishly proud of myself for being able to predict the ingredient that would be able to shift continents, if not mountains. <br /> <br />The recipe will go in the regular rotation, with a note saying "Use stale cumin." Maybe I'll go buy some stale cumin just to keep on hand for this recipe -- should be easy enough to find in the stores.
 
meglet February 13, 2012
I made this last night, and we liked it very much indeed. <br /> <br />My cumin was fresher than the other spices, so it overwhelmed the dish and made it taste more subcontinental than Saharan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I made a last-minute correction by adding a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade. It worked a treat, and I'm childishly proud of myself for being able to predict the ingredient that would be able to shift continents, if not mountains. <br /> <br />The recipe will go in the regular rotation, with a note saying "Use stale cumin." Maybe I'll go buy some stale cumin just to keep on hand for this recipe -- should be easy enough to find in the stores.
 
meglet February 13, 2012
I made this last night, and we liked it very much indeed. <br /> <br />My cumin was fresher than the other spices, so it overwhelmed the dish and made it taste more subcontinental than Saharan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I made a last-minute correction by adding a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade. It worked a treat, and I'm childishly proud of myself for being able to predict the ingredient that would be able to shift continents, if not mountains. <br /> <br />The recipe will go in the regular rotation, with a note saying "Use stale cumin." Maybe I'll go buy some stale cumin just to keep on hand for this recipe -- should be easy enough to find in the stores.
 
meglet February 13, 2012
I made this last night, and we liked it very much indeed. <br /> <br />My cumin was fresher than the other spices, so it overwhelmed the dish and made it taste more subcontinental than Saharan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I made a last-minute correction by adding a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade. It worked a treat, and I'm childishly proud of myself for being able to predict the ingredient that would be able to shift continents, if not mountains. <br /> <br />The recipe will go in the regular rotation, with a note saying "Use stale cumin." Maybe I'll go buy some stale cumin just to keep on hand for this recipe -- should be easy enough to find in the stores.
 
meglet February 13, 2012
I made this last night, and we liked it very much indeed. <br /> <br />My cumin was fresher than the other spices, so it overwhelmed the dish and made it taste more subcontinental than Saharan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I made a last-minute correction by adding a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade. It worked a treat, and I'm childishly proud of myself for being able to predict the ingredient that would be able to shift continents, if not mountains. <br /> <br />The recipe will go in the regular rotation, with a note saying "Use stale cumin." Maybe I'll go buy some stale cumin just to keep on hand for this recipe -- should be easy enough to find in the stores.
 
meglet February 13, 2012
I made this last night, and we liked it very much indeed. <br /> <br />My cumin was fresher than the other spices, so it overwhelmed the dish and made it taste more subcontinental than Saharan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I made a last-minute correction by adding a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade. It worked a treat, and I'm childishly proud of myself for being able to predict the ingredient that would be able to shift continents, if not mountains. <br /> <br />The recipe will go in the regular rotation, with a note saying "Use stale cumin." Maybe I'll go buy some stale cumin just to keep on hand for this recipe -- should be easy enough to find in the stores.
 
meglet February 13, 2012
I made this last night, and we liked it very much indeed. <br /> <br />My cumin was fresher than the other spices, so it overwhelmed the dish and made it taste more subcontinental than Saharan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I made a last-minute correction by adding a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade. It worked a treat, and I'm childishly proud of myself for being able to predict the ingredient that would be able to shift continents, if not mountains. <br /> <br />The recipe will go in the regular rotation, with a note saying "Use stale cumin." Maybe I'll go buy some stale cumin just to keep on hand for this recipe -- should be easy enough to find in the stores.
 
meglet February 13, 2012
I made this last night, and we liked it very much indeed. <br /> <br />My cumin was fresher than the other spices, so it overwhelmed the dish and made it taste more subcontinental than Saharan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I made a last-minute correction by adding a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade. It worked a treat, and I'm childishly proud of myself for being able to predict the ingredient that would be able to shift continents, if not mountains. <br /> <br />The recipe will go in the regular rotation, with a note saying "Use stale cumin." Maybe I'll go buy some stale cumin just to keep on hand for this recipe -- should be easy enough to find in the stores.
 
meglet February 13, 2012
I made this last night, and we liked it very much indeed. <br /> <br />My cumin was fresher than the other spices, so it overwhelmed the dish and made it taste more subcontinental than Saharan. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I made a last-minute correction by adding a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade. It worked a treat, and I'm childishly proud of myself for being able to predict the ingredient that would be able to shift continents, if not mountains. <br /> <br />The recipe will go in the regular rotation, with a note saying "Use stale cumin." Maybe I'll go buy some stale cumin just to keep on hand for this recipe -- should be easy enough to find in the stores.
 
Sagegreen January 31, 2012
Your recipe is just divine. I loved how it was coming along....but I got a bit distracted just before serving...only to let that beautiful sauce reduce almost completely away...scorching the pan. Still the meal was salvageable even after that! What depth of flavors the preserved lemons and saffron bring to this dish. I will make it again, hopefully without my errors next time.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. February 2, 2012
Oh no! I'm glad to hear that the dish was still salvageable though! I'm so happy you liked it- thank you!
 
ChristineB January 22, 2012
I made this for dinner last night, and it was DIVINE!!! I couldn't find preserved lemons in Bloomington, IN, so we added the zest of one fresh lemon plus 1/3 of the juice instead. I also added about half a can of artichoke hearts (non-marinated). Served over brown basmati rice, it was super yummy!!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. December 29, 2011
Thank you for all of the wonderful comments! I'm happy to hear that so many people are still enjoying this recipe!
 
student E. December 29, 2011
delicious! made this last night and am planning to make it again tonight! served with israeli couscous, which was wonderful. my only modifications: twice as many olives and a slight reduction of the the preserved lemons (flavor would have been to overpowering with the ones I had).
 
truegrits September 5, 2011
i just cant get over how delicious it is. i can just leave it on the stove for an hour while i do other things and it only gets better. i like to add a handful of dried cranberries or raisins just for a hint of sweetness. its a beautifully simple recipe though.
 
cookerjones May 30, 2011
This makes such a beautiful meal. I made this for my boyfriend shortly after we started dating and the look on his face after his first bite was proof enough that this recipe is a winner. He raved. It's still one of his favorite dishes that I make. Thank you!
 
BLB April 24, 2011
This recipe is the rare chicken recipe that can be done in advance. I cooked it the day before my seder and let the chicken sit in the sauce. Reheated gently the next day it was succulent and flavorful, breasts and legs included. Reducing the sauce, or thickening it is really important . <br />thanks for a great recipe
 
Tashie April 10, 2011
I just made it tonight by using Mark Bittman's quick preserved lemons that I made last night. That was some crazy good stuff! Oh so easy, must now go find other recipes to use my preserved lemons.
 
BocaCindi September 11, 2012
I too love Mark Bittman's quick preserved lemons!! The next time you roast a chicken, stuff the preserved lemons under the breast skin with a little butter. It flavors the breast and you end up with lemon jam to eat along with the roast.
 
melissav February 23, 2011
I remove the lid and throw under the broiler for the last 3-5 minutes or so of the cooking time. This recrisps the skin so you get nice crunchy skin and yummy braised meat.
 
DaleJ February 23, 2011
Sonali--I chickened out on using my new tagine, even though I seasoned it...because I was serving dinner to friends and didn't want a mid-recipe disaster! I used a dutch oven and it turned out great. What do you suggest re: leaving on or taking off the skin? The chicken browns well, but the skin got soggy with the braising. Maybe remove the skin before the braise? The spices were so warm and they melded together very well! It's a great recipe that I'd like to play with.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. February 23, 2011
I just made this dish the other day and I used a Dutch oven too. I like to remove the skin just before serving. I think it's probably a good idea to keep it on during the braising process to keep the meat juicy. I'm glad you liked it!
 
Stacey S. February 13, 2011
Made this tonight almost to the letter, only omitted the ginger (didn't have any) and added golden raisins to the couscous.<br />We loved it! Thanks for an easy delicious recipe!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. February 19, 2011
I'm glad to hear that people are still enjoying the recipe after all this time. I'm going to make it myself tonight!
 
DaleJ February 9, 2011
How do you translate the cooking time when using a tagine on the stovetop?? Same timing?
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. February 9, 2011
I don't have a tagine so I'm not sure if the cooking time would be altered but my guess is that it wouldn't change it too much. Good luck- I hope the dish turns out ok!
 
bannalouise December 31, 2010
sublime! the saffron perfects and already wonderful and easy recipe
 
jifferb December 13, 2010
Made this tonight - for two instead of four and we licked the plates clean! I too used lemon stuffed olives - they were delicious. Thanks for the fabulous recipe!
 
Midge December 13, 2010
I made this for friends last night and it was a huge it. Thanks for a foolproof recipe!
 
HandRocksLadle November 7, 2010
Made this for my fiance a few days ago and he hasn't stopped raving about it. I didn't have the preserved lemons so I used lemon stuffed olives. This is a keeper!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. November 8, 2010
Great idea using lemon stuffed olives- I might try that next time!
 
mrsamana November 4, 2010
I can't wait to try this recipe tonight. It looks delicious!
 
KarenO October 24, 2010
This got rave reviews from my dinner party guests tonight! Just fabulous. We got the preserved lemons from Formaggio, our neighborhood gourmet store which happens to be on this site. So good. Thanks!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. October 27, 2010
I'm so glad you liked it- thank you!
 
askann October 23, 2010
The Whole Foods in my town had preserved lemons in deli containers in the refrigerated section near cheese and deli area. Maybe yours does too!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. October 27, 2010
Thanks for the tip! I also recently saw them at Williams Sonoma.
 
wanderash October 19, 2010
Yum! I made this last night. It is a perfect recipe-- great balance of flavors and really easy. Great for weeknight or company. I am determined to use what I have in my stuffed pantry, before buying any more grains, rices, etc. so I served it with a simple, soft polenta. Delicious!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. October 22, 2010
I'm so glad you liked it- next time I'll try it with polenta! <br />
 
TheWimpyVegetarian October 6, 2010
Made this tonight and it was just absolutely wonderful. We just loved it!! And really easy to make. In fact I was able to clean up the whole kitchen while the chicken was braising, which was a bonus and makes this a great dish to make for a dinner party. Thanks, Sonali!! BTW, my husband is an ER doc (recently retired from clinical work) and heard about your blog on the ACEP blog where he is a regular contributor and told me to check your blog out. I recognized you from here at Food52! How fun.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. October 10, 2010
Glad to hear that you liked it! What a coincidence that your husband is an ER doc- my husband and I were just in Las Vegas last week for the ACEP convention. Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to keep up with my blog because I recently went back to full-time at the hospital but hopefully I'll start it up again. I read your profile and we have a lot in common- pursuing our passion for cooking a little later in life. Good luck with your cooking classes- they sound fabulous! <br />
 
TheWimpyVegetarian October 10, 2010
We were in LV for ACEP too! My husband was a recipient of an award at the big dinner Thursday night, so although he was there all week, I only flew in for the dinner and left Friday with him. What a great turnout they had! And I hear next year is San Francisco! I look forward to trying more of your recipes and hope you can spend more time on your blog. You have a lot of talent!
 
adamnsvetcooking September 29, 2010
We made the recipe over the weekend, IT was great, everything came nice together. Ever since I am on a olives kick... I am putting them into everything
 
PaulaK June 13, 2010
I was looking for a good chicken recipe to try for dinner tomorrow. I think I have found it with this one! Luckily, I have a lot of these ingredients in my kitchen cabinet already. The only things I have to buy are the chicken and the lemons. I can't wait to try this recipe.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. June 13, 2010
Great- let me know how it turns out!
 
maryvelasquez December 6, 2009
I made this last night and I loved it. It was worth the effort to get a hold of the preserved lemons. I've never cooked with them before, but I will always have them around the house from now on. Thanks, Sonali, for the amazon.com tip.
 
melissav November 8, 2009
We made this tonight and not only was it delicious but so easy. Definitely going into my weeknight rotation.
 
JWB November 4, 2009
This is a delicious and simple dish. It hits all of the requirements for inclusion on the weeknight rotation: Fast, basic ingredients, enjoyed by all of my eaters, and a unique mix of flavors. I must admit to using fresh lemon instead of preserved, which I removed prior to serving. I will add preserved lemons to the pantry for future versions of this recipe. Thank you, Sonali.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. November 4, 2009
I'm so glad you liked it! I've also made the dish with real lemons but the preserved lemons definitely add a unique flavor!
 
faks_merchant October 26, 2009
We tried this recipe and it was absolutely delicious!
 
faks_merchant October 26, 2009
We tried this recipe and it was absolutely delicious!
 
sweet E. October 19, 2009
this one has my vote. it looks sublime!
 
Laurieanne October 19, 2009
This looks so delicious can't wait to make it.
 
Laurieanne October 19, 2009
This looks so delicious can't wait to make it.
 
maryvelasquez October 17, 2009
I never really know where to get or how to make my own preserved lemons. Suggestions?
 
maryvelasquez October 17, 2009
I never really know where to get or how to make my own preserved lemons. Suggestions?
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. October 17, 2009
This may sound strange but I usually buy them online from Amazon.com because I can rarely find them in my local stores. There are a lot of good recipes online for homemade preserved lemons but you have to have patience because the process take a few weeks!
 
Adriana October 18, 2009
Here's one preserved lemon recipe I just bookmarked--there's not much to it, though I've added peppercorns & bay leaves to mine in the past. <br /><br />If you know of any Middle Eastern markets in your area they will have preserved lemons. Maybe Whole Foods? That sounds like something Bread & Circus would have carried, alas.
 
Adriana October 18, 2009
D'oh! Forgot the link: <br />http://www.culinate.com/search/q,ctype=recipe,q=lemon,stype=/193755
 
Cordelia October 21, 2009
You can try my recipe - http://www.food52.com/recipes/1195_preserved_lemons<br />I make it all the time. worth the effort!<br />Also, I would recommend that if you don't have preserved lemons just cut fresh ones with the peel and just add them in earlier when cooking. If you want to make sure they won't be too bitter, you can poach the slices in boiling water for a few minutes before adding them to the chicken.
 
maryvelasquez October 27, 2009
Thanks for all of the suggestions!
 
maryvelasquez October 17, 2009
I never really know where to get or how to make preserved lemons. Suggestions?
 
maryvelasquez October 17, 2009
I never really know where to get or how to make preserved lemons. Suggestions?
 
ergringle October 31, 2010
Mark Bittman (NYTimes food guy) had a recent recipe for making faux preserved lemons in very little time. I'm going to try that recipe with this one. Also was planning to make his recipe at Thanksgiving as an alternative to cranberry relishes.
 
BocaCindi January 14, 2012
Just made the quick preserved lemons last night. They are really delicious!! Am making Moroccan chicken today which is why I made the lemons.
 
Cordelia October 16, 2009
Well I wanted submit my own Moroccan chicken with olives recipe. But I did not. So you get my vote, I know it is tasty.
 
Cordelia October 16, 2009
Well I wanted submit my own Moroccan chicken with olives recipe. But I did not. So you get my vote, I know it is tasty.
 
Cordelia October 16, 2009
Well I wanted submit my own Moroccan chicken with olives recipe. But I did not. So you get my vote, I know it is tasty.
 
Cordelia October 16, 2009
Well I wanted submit my own Moroccan chicken with olives recipe. But I did not. So you get my vote, I know it is tasty.
 
Cordelia October 16, 2009
Well I wanted submit my own Moroccan chicken with olives recipe. But I did not. So you get my vote, I know it is tasty.
 
Cordelia October 16, 2009
Well I wanted submit my own Moroccan chicken with olives recipe. But I did not. So you get my vote, I know it is tasty.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. October 17, 2009
Thank you. Your purple puree recipe looks great!
 
lastnightsdinner October 16, 2009
Such a beautiful dish.
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. October 17, 2009
Thank you!
 
Author Comment
Sonali A. October 17, 2009
Thank you!