Moroccan Lemon Chicken Tajine Recipe

Lemon Chicken Tajine is a Moroccan Cuisine classic. Lemons and olives are two major trademarks of Moroccan cooking. The key ingredient in our Lemon Chicken is the preserved lemon (included in this recipe). Don’t make this dish without it, or you will end up with a good dish, but nowhere near as good result. With the preserved lemon, Lemon chicken tajine is a snap to make, you will be transported by the authentic Moroccan flavors and heavenly aromas of lemon chicken tajine.

Be sure to rinse both the olives and the preserved lemon thoroughly, or you will end up with a salty dish.


  • 8 chicken parts servings, dark and white meat, or all dark: Drumsticks, thighs, half breasts, skin on
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced (use a food processor)
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 1 cup green pitted olives, thoroughly rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 good pinches saffron
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 of a preserved lemon, skin only, rinsed and chopped very fine
  • Small bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 5-6 sprigs cilantro, stems cut off
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


Place the chicken, onions, ginger, olives, turmeric, saffron, water and preserved lemon in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, covered, for 1 hour. Half way through the cooking, check to make sure you have enough liquid in the pot, add a little water if necessary. In a food processor, mince the parsley and cilantro, using the pulse button. Add the ground mixture, lemon juice and pepper to the pot, stir carefully and cook for another 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a platter and check the cooking liquid. If it is too thin, cook it over high heat until it is reduced and thickened to the consistency of maple syrup. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley and cilantro, and lemon slices. Serve hot.

4 replies
  1. Dana Levine
    Dana Levine says:

    I am making the chicken lemon tajine and its not clear when to add the preserved lemons. I adding them at the beginning and hope for the best!


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