Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Green Olives

While on vacation a few months ago, we made our bi-annual trip to the outlet mall. While there, my mother-in-law officially decreed that every time we go to the outlet mall, I get a piece from Le Creuset. God bless her.

This time I chose a tagine. A tagine is a traditional cooking vessel from Morocco.

It turned out to be a very wise purchase. This thing rocks! I've made tagine chicken three times now, and every time it has come out great. I didn't have to marinate the chicken at all, and yet it was flavorful and moist. My whole family loves my tagines — even my toddler who is a bit picky.

It's something to do with the way the shape of the cone encourages condensation which rises and falls… My mother-in-law tried to explain it to me. I don't understand it at all but I will say, whatever it is, it works.

And, because I got it at the outlet store, the tagine only cost $80. The outlet malls have Le Creuset “seconds” which are supposedly flawed in some way and not “first” quality. But for the life of me, I can't find any flaws in the seconds I have bought.

Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Green Olives
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Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Green Olives

  • Author: Ann Marie Michaels

Ingredients

  • Olive oil and/or butter (2 TBS) — I used all butter and it was great
  • Chicken thighs and breasts (3 pounds) — with bone or boneless and ideally pastured chicken, or at least organic — I did about half thigh and half breast meat — you could do all breast meat but I don't know if it would be quite as flavorful and moist; also, with the bone is more flavorful but either will work
  • Large yellow or white onion (1)
  • Lemons, ideally organic (2)
  • Garlic cloves (2-3)
  • Paprika (1 TBS)
  • Ground cinnamon (1 tsp)
  • Ground ginger (1 tsp)
  • Honey (1/4 cup)
  • Chicken stock, ideally homemade (2 cups)
  • Green olives (drained of liquid) (3/4 – 1 cup )
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Add butter/olive oil to your tagine or a large cast iron skillet and heat over low to medium-low heat.
2. Add chopped onion. Cook until soft.
3. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
4. Set burner to high and add chicken to tagine (or skillet). Sear until slightly browned. Turn down the heat.
5. Cut lemons in half. Squeeze 2-3 tablespoons worth of juice and set aside. Cut lemons into small slices.
6. Add sliced lemons, crushed garlic, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, and honey to tagine (or skillet) and mix.
7. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
8. Once boiling, if using Le Creuset tagine, reduce heat to low and cover. If using clay tagine, transfer from skillet to tagine, reduce heat to low and cover.
9. Cook for 45 minutes.
10. Transfer chicken to bowl or plate.
11. Add olives and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to tagine.
12. Set heat to high. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until it reduces 2/3 to 3/4.
13. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
14. Add chicken back to the tagine and serve over brown rice or whole wheat couscous (if using couscous, soak overnight with water and whey or couscous).

Notes

I spoke to a Moroccan cooking expert at the WAPF conference and she said you can use a regular dutch oven or cast iron skillet with a lid. It might not come out AS good as it does with the tagine, but it will work just fine.

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Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Green Olives

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

29 thoughts on “Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Green Olives

  1. I’ve seen those at my local outlets and they look really cool, but I wasn’t sure what they were used for. Did you buy a whole chicken and break it up? I only buy chickens from HFF and just roast them. I would love to try something different.

  2. Alison –

    Yes you can break up a whole chicken. It comes out more flavorful when you use chicken with the bones than when you use boneless. But boneless works, too.

    The photo above was taken when my inlaws were in town. I ran to the store and got “free-range” chicken thighs (I was out of HFF whole chickens).

  3. Looks and sounds super delicious- I absolutely love Moroccan flavors, and would kill for chicken tagine. Well, maybe not kill for it… body check for suresies tho.
    Out of curiousity, have you tried baking bread in the tagine? Just want to know how it works compared to a regular dutch oven…
    .-= Sweetcharity´s last blog ..Features =-.

  4. I bet adding some preserved lemons (both in the cooking for flavor, and as a garnish and some probiotics) would be scrumptious with this. very cool tagine, btw.

  5. I can personally attest to home delicious this was…even got me thinking about getting a tagine, but then the thought passed. I may have to visit the outlet here after Christmas (when they drop prices and the stores are empty) and get one.

  6. I really should thank Seth for the tagine; he is the one who bought it. But yes, Nancy is also wonderful for encouraging him to buy it for me.

    Nancy – I realized this is actually a slightly different recipe than what you tasted. The one I made when you were here had cinnamon & raisins. The recipe for that one is in the book that comes with the Le Creuset tagine.

    Caroline – Yes! It would be even better w/ preserved lemons.

  7. Can you make preserved lemons pretty easily for those of you suggesting? I have always wanted to do that, but will regular organic lemons from Whole Foods work? That is pretty much all I have access to.

    I have been eyeing that Tagine for a while now too. I get Le Crueset every time we go to the outlet too (usually that is the reason we make the trip to the outlet which is only about an hour from our house). That is why we don’t go very often even though it is relatively close, can drop a good amount of money in one day.

    I might have to get that piece next time. The main reason why I haven’t gotten it before is that I wasn’t sure if it would hold enough for a family of 6.

  8. Thanks for explaining the tagine! The recipe looks great! I have to come up with very flavorful recipes to get my husband to eat chicken so I will definitely give this one a try!

  9. Depends on how much your family eats. I think you can get enough in there if you squeeze it in. And also do some other dishes maybe.

    There are also cheaper tagines I’ve seen — the clay ones. You could get two of those. You just have to sear the meat first then cook in the clay.

  10. Ann Marie,
    You’re probably too young, but I wonder if you ever went to the old Pioneer Boulangerie Restaurant in Santa Monica? It was a sit-down restaurant down by the pier, not the little place they have now on Montana. Anyway, they used to have a Basque chicken dish with green olives that I loved. With all the Moorish influence in Spain I wonder if the Basque dish derives from the Moroccan version.

  11. Mmmm, I love Moroccan dishes, especially with preserved lemon/lime & olive combinations, though I don’t yet have a tagine. Good to know the Le Creuset version gets your nod of approval.

    An gluten-free alternative to couscous is quinoa, by the way.

  12. Hi everyone,
    Can you make Moroccan Chicken without the tagine? Say, in a covered casserole pot? Sounds so yummy!!
    At least, I have the Preserved Lemons. Here’s the recipe-
    https://www.whitehat.com.au/Food/Condiments/PLemons.asp

  13. Sounds like an interesting recipe… I noticed, however, that step 1 and step 6 utilize the same 2 lemons, differently. Which is the preferred step?

  14. So thats something you can do with preserved lemons! I saw the recipe in NT and wondered what you’d use them for. This is a common thing for me with NT. “Gee, sounds like a cool recipe, but what the heck do you do with it?” Lots of the sauces and condiments are foreign to me, so these blogs are wonderful! Keep up the good work!

  15. I just made this for the first time (but used a regular lidded pan) and it might be one the best recipes we’ve eaten! Thank you for posting!!

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