Day 4: Chicken tajine with preserved lemons and olives


I’ve always wanted to try to make a Moroccan tajine.  It always seemed so exotic but after eating it a lot when travelling though Morocco I realised it’s a quite simple dish.  Even so it’s years since I went to Marocco and until today I’ve not tried to make it.  I’ve always used the excuse that I didn’t have a proper tajine pot – however there was a great sale on at a local shop and I bought one.  So no more excuses.

There are so many different receipts for this dish, everyone slightly different than the one before.  I reviewed several and this is my version.  I like the idea of a marinade, contrary to what many seem to think, I do think it adds a lot of flavour (even if it’s only on the surface).

Ingredients  – Chermoula marinade

  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 whole small preserved lemon
  • 1-2 small red chilli
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 batch of chopped coriander
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp saffron threads, soaked in a little water
  • 125 ml olive oil

Put the ingredients in the food processor bowl and wizz up until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.  Use only 2/3 of the marinade to coat 8 chicken thighs and leave for at least 2 hours in the fridge but up to 24 hours (you can however skip this step (marinating) and rub on the chicken just before cooking).  Save the rest of the marinade for later.


Ingredients – for the cooking pot

  • 6-8 chicken thighs depending on size
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1-2 large onion, sliced
  • 3 large potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 150 g pitted green olives
  • 1-2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 small bunch of chopped coriander
  • 100 ml water  if you like a really saucy tajine use 200ml water
  • 1 preserved lemon (6 or 8 wedges)


Pour a little bit of oil in the bottom of the pan.

Slice up the onion in circles (not chopped) and rub it in the left over marinade and put it into the bottom of the pan (the chicken is meant to rest on the chicken rings).

Place half of the olives in on top of the onion and then spread the chicken evenly spread throughout the pan.  Put the coriander on top of the chicken. Cut the potatoes into wedges and rub in the marinade (there will be enough left in the chicken bowl to do this) and place it on top if the chicken.

Place the rest of the olives on top.  Mix the water with the remaining marinade and pour over the mix.  Finally place the preserved lemon wedges on top of it all.

Put the lid on, cook on top of the hob for around 45-50 minutes on low/medium heat. Don’t open the lid whilst cooking.

Serve it with couscous or just eat as is.


Finally, upon remaking this I did a calorie count and WOW I had no idea how much calories olive oli has in it!  Next time I’m going to make the marinade without or with a lot less. I will update the recipe at that time.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 540 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 738
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36.1g 56%
Saturated Fat 6.8g 34%
       – Trans Fat 0.0g
       – Cholesterol 148mg 49%
Sodium 409mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 51.3g 17%
       – Dietary Fiber 10.3g 41%
       – Sugars 5.6g
Protein 54.2g