Recipe: Chicken And Preserved Lemon Tagine


A fairly unique flavour that as soon as you smell it, it takes you right back to the spice markets and souks of Morocco… if you’ve been. The recipe makes use of preserved lemons, sumac and arghan oil… all 3 ingredients new to Ben and discovered during his travels.


  • 1 glug olive oil
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 squeeze honey
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 handful green olives
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh coriander
  • 1 knob fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp preserved lemon paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 100 g couscous
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 onions
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 glug argan oil
  • 8 chicken thighs, on the bone
  • 1 pinch cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 tbsp sumac
Preheat the oven

Step 1

Preheat The Oven

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Step 2

Prepare The Vegetables

Peel and slice the onions and scatter into the base of an oven-proof pot with a lid, or tagine if you have one. Crush the garlic and peel and dice the ginger, adding both to the onions.

Step 3

Add The Spices

Lay the cinnamon stick into the next of onions, scatter over the cumin seeds, plenty of black pepper, a pinch of saffron and a squeeze of honey.

Step 4

Prepare The Chicken

Remove the skin and excessive sinew from the chicken thighs, then rub with the preserved lemon paste. Sit the thighs on top of the onions.

Step 5

Arrange & Cook The Tagine

Arrange a generous handful of black olives around the chicken. pour over the chicken stock, or hot water with a stock cube crumbled over the onions. Cover with a lid and bake in the oven for 90 minutes.

Step 6

Prepare The Courgettes

Cut the courgettes into batons and toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and sumac (or whole cumin seeds if you can’t find sumac) in a roasting tray.

Step 7

Finish Tagine & Courgettes

Remove the lid from the chicken dish after the 90 minutes of cooking, add the courgettes to the oven and turn the heat up to 200°C.

Step 8

Make The Cous Cous

Boil a kettle and pour an equal volume of hot water over the couscous in a warm bowl, then leave for 3 minutes. Chop the herbs finely. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the cooked couscous, drizzle in the arghan oil and fork through the herbs so the couscous is fluffy. Season to taste.

Step 9

Serve Up And Dig In!

Serve the tagine with the couscous and roasted courgettes. Serves 4

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