Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives

This Moroccan Lemon Chicken is loaded with flavor from garlic, green olives and preserved lemons. I’ve taken this popular Moroccan tagine and turned it into a slightly more approachable, but just as flavorful cast iron recipe. 

Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives

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Today’s Secret Ingredient…

When a recipe starts with ingredients like fresh herbs, a colorful blend of spices, and a whole organic chicken, you know it’s going to be good. But what you may not yet know is how one simple ingredient can completely transform a dish. 

Today, that ingredient is preserved lemons. Now, if you’ve been following the blog this month, you know the March Spotlight is Moroccan Cuisine and the first recipe was all about preserved lemons. 

There’s a good chance your lemons aren’t quite ready to be used yet, or you just don’t have the time/energy to make them. Either way, I’ve been there! 

That said, this Moroccan Lemon Chicken absolutely needs these preserved lemons for it’s savory, spicy, tangy flavor.

So whether you buy them (click for my favorite brand) or make them (click for my 2 ingredient recipe), don’t skip on this ingredient.  

Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives

Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives

The Sear, Roast, and Broil Method

There are infinitely many ways to cook chicken. But when it comes to a whole chicken, I’m a huge fan of letting it marinate for a few hours, getting a good sear (or grill) on it for a few minutes on each side, roasting it and then broiling it to finish and get the skin nice and crispy. 

You could definitely just throw the whole marinated chicken into the oven, and skip the searing step, but if you want that crispy skin, it’s essential. 

All that’s left after the final broil is to decide what you want to use to soak up all of the sauce. You can’t go wrong with bread but if you’re gluten free like me, any rice dish works perfectly too. 

Moroccan Lemon Chicken with OlivesMoroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives

Allergen Tags

Click on the Allergen Icons below to find more allergy friendly recipes like this one! This recipe does not contain the following allergens:

Wheat FreeMilk & Dairy FreeTree Nut FreeSoy FreeEgg FreeShellfish FreeFish FreePeanut Free
Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives

Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives

  • Author: Salima's Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


This Moroccan Lemon Chicken is loaded with flavor from green olives, garlic and preserved lemons. 



For the Marinade:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 strands saffron
  • 1 tsp paprika

For the Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives (Moroccan olives are best for this dish!)
  • 1 tbsp olive brine


  1. Combine all, finely minced ingredients for the marinade to a small bowl and mix well. In a cast iron pot, add your chicken and rub well with the marinade, making sure to get it under the skin of the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425. Remove the chicken from the cast iron pan and any remaining marinade from the pan (stuff this stuff pack into the chicken, it’s where all the flavor comes from!) Add olive oil to the cast iron and heat to medium high. Brown the chicken on all sides. Add olives and brine.
  3. Cover and bake for an hour. Move the chicken to a baking sheet and broil for 5-7 minutes or until skin is crispy and golden brown. Reduce the sauce on the stovetop by simmering over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Serve the chicken with some olives, a bit of sauce and bread or rice.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Moroccan

Keywords: Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives, Lemon Chicken with Olives

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Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives


Author: Salima's Kitchen

Salima Benkhalti is a personal chef in Portland, Oregon. Contact with inquiries about private events, meal plans or taking cooking classes at !

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