Chicken Tajine with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon

This is a very classical Moroccan tajine that’s really delicious and that usually seduces all my guests.

The olives that I use to make this dish are very similar to the original Moroccan ones. They are very fleshy and have a strong flavor. In Spain these are called Jaen olives, from the town of Jaen, in Andalusia. If you can’t find this type of olives, just use what you have on hand, the dish will still be delicious.


Preserved lemons are simply lemons that have been pickled with salt. You can find the recipe here: Preserved lemons recipe.

The cooking pot is an important element for the success of this dish. I have an earthenware pot brought back from Morocco, but I guess you can find a similar pot in a specialized store. Don’t buy the imitations, though, it’s not worth it. You can also use any good earthenware pot and tap it well.

Serves 4 – Prep. time 50 mn.

4 chicken thighs
1 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 preserved lemon
150g (about 3/4 cup) green olives as indicated above
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ginger powder
1 pinch turmeric
1 pinch saffron

Place chicken in the pot. Add all the other ingredients except the cilantro and the olives. Make sure you coat the chicken pieces well with the mixture.

Cook for 10 minutes, covered, then add about 1 glass water and the olives.

Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes on very low heat, covered.

Add cilantro just before serving.


Make sure you don’t add too much lemon, or the dish will have too much salt, which will make it almost inedible (it happened to me once).

Serve with Moroccan style bread, or couscous.


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