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a chicken tagine on a white counter

How to Make Moroccan Chicken Tajine (Tagine)

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hours
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree, Dinner, Lunch
  • Method: Baked, Tajine
  • Cuisine: Moroccan, North African, Mediterannean, African


This post shows you how to make traditional Moroccan chicken tajine with olives and preserved lemon at home. It’s a terrific, flavorful tajine (or tagine) that’s made with juicy chicken thighs marinated in Moroccan spices and a rich sauce. Serve over couscous. 


Units Scale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 46 chicken thighs, skin on & bone in
  • 1 tbsp parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • 56 strands saffron (optional), bloomed with an ice cube for 15 minutes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 preserved lemon, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup green olives
  • 2 tbsp water
  • couscous or Moroccan bread (khobz) to serve with


  1. Prep the oven & ingredients. Start by preheating oven to 350 degrees and prepping all ingredients: mince the garlic, onion, preserved lemon, cilantro, and parsley. 
  2. Saute onions and garlic. Add half of the olive oil, plus all of the garlic and onion to the base of the tajine and sautee over medium heat until the onions begin to appear translucent (about 5 minutes).
  3. Season chicken with herbs and seasonings. Turn off the heat and carefully arrange the chicken in the tajine over the onions and sprinkle with parsley, cilantro, the rest of the olive oil, bloomed saffron, salt, pepper, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric. Mix well with your hands until the chicken is coated with all the spices.
  4. Arrange chicken & veggies in tajine and bake. Spread the seasoned chicken evenly around the base of your tajine. Arrange the sliced preserved lemon and olives over top. Drizzle with water, cover and bake for 1 hour (or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees), checking every 30 minutes or so. 
  5. Broil (OPTIONAL). Remove the tajine from the oven, set the temperature to broil and, using tongs, move the chicken from the tajine to a baking sheet, leaving behind the sauce, olives and preserved lemons. Broil the chicken, skin side up for 5 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Serve!


Chicken Thighs: You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Note that they will likely take less time to cook, so be sure to check the temperature with a meat thermometer after 30 minutes to make sure they don’t overcook.

Spices: If you don’t have saffron, double the amount of turmeric used to add color.