Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Olives


Foodie Friday

I have participated in FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm since my friend, Michael Lee, began the weekly event in 2009.  It has been a culinary adventure to be sure, and I know there will always be something interesting going on at Michael’s house.   When she contacted me several weeks ago and invited me to participate in her new event, The Mystery Ingredient Club, I was all in. I was on pins and needles waiting for my mystery ingredients to arrive…I knew it could be anything…and was secretly hoping it would be something I had never tried before.  I was ready for a challenge and wasn’t disappointed.  I received preserved lemons prepared several ways and a jar of the most fragrant, delicious lemon salt (from Cyprus) you could ever imagine.    I know that preserved lemons are an important ingredient in Moroccan cuisine and decided to do a little exploring in that direction.

Foodie Friday Post

 Chicken with Lemon and Olives is a classic Moroccan dish and I found many recipes for it.  The basic ingredients are herbs and spices, chicken, preserved lemons and olives.  It is a type of chicken stew that is traditionally prepared in a tagine, a heavy clay plate with a domed lid that is designed to keep all moisture inside the pot.  A cast iron Dutch oven works nicely if you don’t have a tagine.  Preserved lemons brighten the flavors and add saltiness, acidity and a strong citrus flavor to the dish. Moroccan food is known for its complex mixture of spices and herbs.  Cumin is used in almost every savory dish and is so important in the cuisine that it is served on the table along with salt and pepper. 

Foodie Friday couscous

Moroccan chicken is served with couscous, a traditional North African dish of semolina, tiny granules of durham wheat,  that is cooked by steaming. Preparing instant couscous is quick and easy — the dried couscous is added to a pot of boiling water or stock, the pot is then covered and the water is absorbed into the couscous in about five minutes. I dressed it up a bit by adding chopped garbanzo beans, golden raisins and cilantro and made a side dish with lots of flavor and texture.  It was delicious with the chicken.

Foodie Friday Post

The lemon salt included in my mystery ingredients was a special treat.
It was delicious sprinkled on fresh vegetables and salads and was fantastic on grilled fish fillets.  But more about this later.

Foodie Friday

Thank you so much, Michael Lee, for inviting me to be a part of the first Mystery Ingredient Club event.  It was so much fun learning about Moroccan cuisine and ingredients that were new to me.  I can’t wait to see the recipes other bloggers have chosen.  Visit FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm to meet all the participants in the very first Mystery Ingredient Club party.  

Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Olives
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chicken, 3-4 pounds, cut into 8 pieces, or 3-4 pounds of chicken thighs and legs. Dark meat is more flavorful
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • rind from 1 preserved lemon, rinsed in cold water, pulp discarded and cut into thin strips.
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup garbanzo beans
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup water or chicken stock
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  1. Combine all the spices in a large bowl. Pat the chicken pieces dry and put into the bowl, coat well with the spice mixture. Let the chicken stand for one hour in the spices. In a large skillet with a cover heat the oil on medium heat high heat. Place the chicken, skin side down, in the skillet and cook until lightly browned. Lower the heat, add the garlic and onions, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Turn the chicken pieces over. Add the lemon slices, olives, raisins, and garbanzo beans and cook for another 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender.
  3. Mix in fresh parsley and cilantro just before serving. Adjust seasonings to taste. The lemons and olives add salt to the dish so taste before adding more.
  4. Serve with rice or couscous.
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  1. a quiet life says

    i can smell the goodness from here…i love all those spices mixed together, it makes such a delicious meal!
    a quiet life recently posted..foodie friday mystery ingredient club~My Profile

  2. Rattlebridge Farm -- Foodie Friday says

    I’m swooning with aromas and images. Your Moroccan chicken is calling out to me–cook me, it says! Such deliciousness and beauty on the page, Cathy. I’m so happy that everything arrived safely and found its way into your divine cuisine. Your recipes are especially wonderful. They inform, teach, and remove the fear of trying something new. Just reading along, I feel as if you are right here with me. That is a rare talent, to bring a recipe to life, and you do it consistently–we are very, very lucky in blogland to be ‘next door’ to Wives with Knives. Thank you so much for participating! xx

  3. Rhonda says

    That sounds like a lot of fun and the dish looks wonderful. I can’t imagine how great it smelled too!
    Rhonda recently posted..I left my heart in San FranciscoMy Profile

  4. Bonnie says

    I’ve been trying to figure out why you are not showing up in my blog roll and here you are. And, with a delicious recipe. I somehow managed to drop every FB “friend” from showing up on my FB. I finally figured that out. Just when I thought I had a handle on technology….!!


  5. Marilyn says

    This sounds delicious and I loooove anything with lemon. I do have some lemon salt from the salt shop in town and the preserved lemons I saw made on a cooking show recently. The chef said she keeps some in her refrigerator all the time as she find so many used for them. What a fun adventure into cooking for you.
    Marilyn recently posted..MagicMy Profile

  6. Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon says

    You have outdone yourself. You have my mouth watering.
    Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon recently posted..Texas CakeMy Profile

  7. Larry says

    Sounds really flavorful Cathy. I believe Lea Ann recently bought a tagine so this might be right up her alley.
    Larry recently posted..A Tale Of Two SiblingsMy Profile

  8. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen says

    Would it be corny to say these are a few of my favorite things :) Your chicken looks out of this world. So glad you are participating in the Mystery Ingredient Club.
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Mango and Corn Salad with a Lime VinaigretteMy Profile

  9. Rettabug says

    Ooooo, I can close my eyes & completely imagine just what this tastes like, Cathy! Such interesting flavors & how fun that you did couscous, too, although ours are very different, I bet.
    Wasn’t this a blast to spend time thinking & planning & creating something from preserved Meyers LEMONS? I’m glad you participated, as I knew you’d come up with something extra special.

    Rettabug recently posted..The Mystery Ingredient is….MEYER LEMONS!My Profile

  10. The Café Sucre Farine says

    Cathy, this sounds so exotic and delicious! We love almost every type of ethnic cuisine though I haven’t dabbled much in Moroccan-inspired recipes. Thanks for a wonderful sounding chicken recipe, I can’t have enough of these!
    The Café Sucre Farine recently posted..Smashed Potatoes w/ Fresh Herb GremolataMy Profile

  11. JG says

    What a great dinner, Cathy! It looks so yummy. I have the ingredients and only need to purchase the chicken. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
    JG recently posted..The Bugs/ Turkeys Table RunnerMy Profile

  12. Mary says

    I was looking for a Morroccan Chicken recipe, so many to choose from, yours looks delicious along with your couscous with the raisins & chickpeas! It’s been a busy week but I see I need to break the seal on my jar of lemon salt! Thanks for the recipe :)
    Mary recently posted..Lemon-Rosemary Coffee CakeMy Profile

  13. Pondside says

    All of these posts have me anxious to find some preserved Meyer’s lemon. I don’t know if it is to be found up here, but I’ll scout it out here or south of the border on my next trip. This looks just delicious!

  14. Mari @ Once Upon a Plate says

    Oh Cathy! GMTA ~ I, too, chose to make Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Olives.
    Your version looks fabulous, and I see the recipe is just a little different than the one I did. I think I would really like the addition of raisins and garbanzo beans. You made such a nice presentation and lovely photos (as always!) xo

  15. Susan says

    You put those lovely lemons to delicious use, Cathy! I have never tasted a preserved lemon but I love lemons and lemon recipes. Your dish sounds wonderful!
    Susan recently posted..Rhubarb-Strawberry Hand PiesMy Profile

  16. Liz says

    What a fun project!!! I’ve only recently discovered preserved lemons…and love them! So glad to have this gorgeous Moroccan chicken recipe so I can use them again :)
    Liz recently posted..Tzatziki #FrenchFridayswithDorieMy Profile

  17. Sarah says

    This dish will be on the menu here soon. We love Moroccan food! Thanks for sharing the recipe and all these gorgeous images. ‘-)

  18. Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) says

    I can only imagine how good this is. I’ve still got a jar of those lemons on my refrigerator door that must be used. Better get out that tagine and give this a try.
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) recently posted..Lemon Lime Salmon with Lemon Butter for Salmon SaturdayMy Profile

  19. Jeannie says

    Everything look so bright and delicious at the same time, I can imagine how good that couscous with the moroccan chicken tasted!
    Jeannie recently posted..Cook Like a Star – Nigella Lawson’s Maple Pecan Bundt CakeMy Profile

  20. Foodiewife says

    Making my own preserved lemons ha been on my bucket list for ages! I’ve been wanting to try this dish. You are so adventurous, Cathy, and I love what you came up with.
    Foodiewife recently posted..Ranch Style BeansMy Profile

  21. Jamie says

    My husband’s version of this dish is one of our favorite meals of all times. Full of flavors and textures! But yours has an intriguing blend of spices and ingredients which we don’t use… and now I want to try your beautiful version!
    Jamie recently posted..Vanilla Rum Panna Cotta with Rum Roasted CherriesMy Profile

  22. ciaochowlinda says

    I remember eating this years ago on a trip to Morocco and I wonder why I never thought to make it. Your version looks terrific and is giving me the incentive to try making it myself.
    ciaochowlinda recently posted..Finally – A Ricotta Pound Cake that works – with blueberries and a crumb topping too!My Profile

  23. Adri says

    Mystery Ingredients – what fun! You have made the very best of your package. This dish ibeautiful and oh so tempting! Brava!

  24. Karen (Back Road Journal) says

    Looks delicious, Cathy. I love making this dish…I sometimes add apricots or dried plums. I like preserving my own lemons and have some in my pantry right now. :)
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted..A Step Back In TimeMy Profile

  25. Sophie says

    My lovely dinner for tomorrow! Waw even!

    What a wonderfully fragrant dish! It all looks smashing, Cathy! :) x
    Sophie recently posted..Spiced chickpeas, chicken gyros crunchy salad! With A gluten-Free & Vegan option! :)My Profile

  26. Lulu says

    The flavors in Morroccan food are among my absolute favorite so there’s no doubt I will love preparing this recipe with its hint of lemon.

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