Chicken Tagine with Green Olives & Preserved Lemon

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Chicken Tagine with Green Olives & Preserved Lemon

Tagines are named after the earthenware dish they are traditionally cooked in. Whether you have the traditional dish or not, you can make this classic Moroccan chicken casserole flavoured with tart preserved lemons and green olives at home.


  • 1 large red onion or 2 small onions
  • 2 vine tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 550ml boiling water
  • 1/2 preserved lemon
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • 75g green olives
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 125g wholemeal couscous
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 1 hr 20 mins

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1. Peel and finely slice the onion. Dice the tomatoes. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Place a heavy-based casserole dish or tagine on a low heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil, the onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Season with a pinch of salt and stir well to mix. Pop a lid on the pan and gently cook the onions for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally, till the onions are soft and the tomatoes have collapsed and are pulpy.
2. While the veg cook, fill and boil your kettle. Crumble the stock cube into a heatproof jug and stir in 300ml hot water from the kettle. Halve a preserved lemon and scoop out the seeds and pulp from 1 half. Discard them. Finely chop the preserved lemon rind. Roughly chop a handful of parsley.
3. Stir the preserved lemon rind and parsley into the veg in the pan. Add the olives. Pour in the chicken stock. Stir well to mix.
4. Pull the skin off the chicken thighs (or leave it on if you prefer). Add the chicken thighs to the pan. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and pop the lid back on the pan. Gently simmer for 60 mins, turning the chicken thighs over halfway through. The thighs should be tender and cooked through. Top up the pan with extra water if it looks like it is becomming too dry, and turn the heat down.
5. While the chicken tagine simmers, tip the couscous into a heatproof bowl. Boil the kettle again. Cover with 250ml boiling water from the kettle. Cover the bowl with a plate and set aside to soak. The couscous will absorb the water and become tender.
6. Drain any excess water off the couscous and fluff it with a fork. Divide between 2 warm plates or bowls. Top with the chicken thighs. Taste the tagine sauce and add a pinch more salt if you think it needs it. Ladle over the chicken and couscous. Garnish with parsley leaves and serve with wedges of lemon on the side for squeezing.
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