Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon

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This delicious Moroccan chicken recipe is wonderfully flavored! It’s served with preserved lemon, green olives, and tomatoes. Pair it with couscous or rice for a fabulous meal.

Why You Should Make Moroccan Chicken

This Moroccan chicken recipe has all the flavors of a traditional Moroccan tajine, but it’s not cooked in a tajine pot. Most of us don’t have a tajine, a cone-shaped cooking pot, at home, so for this recipe, we’re using a dutch oven or other oven-safe pot.

Flavored with Ras el Hanout, a Middle Eastern spice blend with over a dozen spices, this chicken recipe is deeply flavorful. The best thing about this dish is probably the preserved lemon. Preserved lemon is essentially a pickled lemon – it’s used in North African cooking – and it has a lovely, briny citrus flavor. It adds a wonderful zing to the dish.

Ingredients You’ll Need for this Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need to make this Moroccan chicken with preserved lemon.

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Ras el Hanout
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs (bones in, skin on)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 preserved lemon, diced
  • 3/4 cup pitted green olives
  • optional – roughly chopped parsley or cilantro to top 

How to Make Moroccan Chicken

Here’s how to make this recipe. It requires some time to cook in the oven, but this allows the chicken thighs to simmer and the flavors to come together.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Coat the chicken in the Ras el Hanout spice. 
  3. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or other oven-safe pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add half the chicken skin side down and brown for 3 minutes, then flip and brown for another 2 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken and remove it from the pot. 
  4. Add the onions to the pot with the leftover chicken juices and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent and slightly browned, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Then add the saffron and tomato paste and stir till combined. 
  6. Add the chicken stock and cherry tomatoes. Then nestle the chicken thighs in the pot, covering with as much of the juice, tomatoes, and onions as possible. 
  7. Cover the pot and put in the oven to cook for 20 minutes. 
  8. Add the preserved lemon and green olives to the pot and cook, covered, for another 20 minutes. 
  9. Serve the chicken with a side of rice or couscous and topped with optional cilantro or parsley. 

More Middle Eastern Recipes to Try

If you like the flavors of this dish, check out some of our other favorite Middle Eastern dishes.

  • Muhammara Recipe – a delicious, lightly spicy dip made from roast red bell peppers and walnuts. It’s originally from the Levant countries of Syria and Lebanon.
  • Mujaddara Recipe – a vegan recipe made with lentils, fried onions, and rice. It’s a Middle Eastern recipe that is total comfort food. 
  • The Best Fattoush Salad – if you like fresh ingredients and Mediterranean salads, you’re going to love this recipe. It has all the best things – tomatoes, little cucumbers, pomegranate arils, radishes, goat cheese, torn pita bread, cilantro, mint, sumac, etc.
  • Hawaij Chicken Recipe – a wonderfully comforting combination of chicken, rice, and spice. It’s made with an amazing spice blend called hawaij.

Tips for Making this Recipe

  • You can make your own Ras el Hanout spice blend – it’s super useful and is great in soups and as a rub on meat.
  • We recommend serving the chicken alongside rice, couscous, or pearl couscous for a more substantial meal. Rice or couscous will also soak up some of the juices so you get all the flavor.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Moroccan Chicken Recipe

Moroccan Chicken Recipe

This delicious Moroccan chicken recipe is wonderfully flavored!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Ras el Hanout
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 preserved lemon, diced
  • 3/4 cup pitted green olives
  • optional - roughly chopped parsley or cilantro to top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Coat the chicken in the Ras el Hanout spice. 
  3. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or other oven-safe pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add half the chicken skin side down and brown for 3 minutes, then flip and brown for another 2 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken and remove it from the pot. 
  4. Add the onions to the pot with the leftover chicken juices and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent and slightly browned, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Then add the saffron and tomato paste and stir till combined. 
  6. Add the chicken stock and cherry tomatoes. Then nestle the chicken thighs in the pot, covering with as much of the juice, tomatoes, and onions as possible. 
  7. Cover the pot and put in the oven to cook for 20 minutes. 
  8. Add the preserved lemon and green olives to the pot and cook, covered, for another 20 minutes. 
  9. Serve the chicken with a side of rice or couscous and topped with optional cilantro or parsley. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 458Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 196mgSodium: 1077mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 39g

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