Moroccan Lemon and Olive Chicken


Indulge in the vibrant and zesty flavors of Morocco with this Lemon and Olive Chicken recipe. A perfect harmony of tangy preserved lemons, briny olives, and succulent chicken, this dish is a staple in Moroccan cuisine. It's an aromatic feast that brings a burst of Mediterranean sunshine to your dining table, effortlessly blending sour, sweet, and savory notes.

Moroccan Lemon and Olive Chicken

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 4
  • Serving Size: 1 portion

Nutritional Profile (per serving)

  • Calories: 360 kcal
  • Protein: 27g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fat: 22g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 580mg


  • Chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on): 8 pieces (about 1000g or 2.2 pounds or 35 ounces)
  • Olive oil: 30ml (2 tablespoons)
  • Onion, finely sliced: 150g (5.29 ounces)
  • Garlic cloves, minced: 3 (about 15g)
  • Preserved lemons, sliced: 80g (2.82 ounces)
  • Green olives, pitted: 100g (3.5 ounces)
  • Chicken stock: 240ml (1 cup)
  • Ground cumin: 5g (1 teaspoon)
  • Ground coriander: 5g (1 teaspoon)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped: 30g (1 ounce)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. Season Chicken: Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander.
  2. Brown the Chicken: In a large skillet, heat olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides. Remove and set aside.
  3. Sauté Onions and Garlic: In the same skillet, sauté onions and garlic until translucent.
  4. Combine Ingredients: Return the chicken to the skillet. Add preserved lemons, olives, and chicken stock.
  5. Simmer: Cover and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is tender.
  6. Garnish: Sprinkle with fresh cilantro before serving.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Quality of Preserved Lemons: Use high-quality preserved lemons for an authentic flavor.
  • Adjusting the Tartness: Modify the amount of preserved lemon based on your taste preference.
  • Serving Suggestion: Serve with couscous or flatbread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use fresh lemons instead? 

Preserved lemons offer a unique flavor, but in a pinch, fresh lemon zest can be used.

How to store leftovers? 

Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can I use other cuts of chicken? 

Yes, but cooking times may vary based on the cut.