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Moroccan Chicken Tagine

This fragrant chicken stew is full of complex flavors and spices and embodies the very spirit of Morocco. It has a deep cultural orientation and is traditionally made in a "Tagine", a conical shaped utensil used for making (you guessed it!) Tagine. 


The Tagine -  Best looking slow cooker

Picture from Wonder How to Food Hacks

Although rich and complex, this dish is not very spicy and has a healthy taste of sweetness from any dried fruit being used - apricot or dates are usually used.

I made the tagine in a skillet, you could use a dutch oven, slow cooker or the handy instant pot to prepare this dish. In addition to the preserved lemons, saffron, olives and a whole bunch of spices, I used a handful of figs and I think it is hard to beat. My recipe below therefore includes the figs and if you like something more traditional, please use apricots or dates instead.


  • Whole chicken  - 1, skinless, bone in and cut into large pieces  

  • Olive oil - 1 tablespoon

  • Saffron thread - 1/2 teaspoon, pulverised

  • Garlic- 8 cloves, minced 

  • Ground cumin - 1 teaspoon

  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon

  • Sweet paprika - 1 teaspoon

  • Onions - 2 medium, thinly sliced

  • Cinnamon stick - 1

  • Olives - 10, pitted and halved

(I used a combination of calamata and green olives)

  • Dried figs - 6, sliced

  • Slivered almonds - a handful

  • Chicken stock - 1 cup

  • Coriander leaves- 1 tablespoon, chopped

  • Salt 

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Preserved lemons - 1 (optional) OR zest of one full lemon and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Morrocon Chicken 2.jpg

Moroccan Chicken Tagine


  1. Mix garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Rub chicken with mixture, refrigerate and let it marinate for 3 to 4 hours.

  2. Warm one tablespoon of oil in a large dutch oven or skillet. Sear the chicken for 5 to 8 minutes, flipping once, until both sides are golden brown. Remove to a clean plate.

  3. Sauté the onions until softened and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant for a minute. Add the olives, lemons (or lemon juice and zest) and half the figs. Add the chicken and stock. Cover and leave the heat on low. 

  4. Once the chicken is fully cooked and tender, add the remaining figs, almond slivers and coriander leaves. 

  5. Serve hot with bread, rice or my personal favourite couscous. 

Substitutions and Additions:

  • You can substitute the preserved lemons with the zest of one whole lemon and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

  • You can certainly replace the figs with 6 apricots or 4 dates. This will make the dish sweeter so if you don't like the sweet, you can completely eliminate the use of them. 

  • You can add carrots or potatoes to this recipe - add them when you add the chicken and stock. ​

Products used in this recipe

Preserved Lemons


Ground Ginger

Did you try this dish? I'd LOVE to see it! 

Snap a picture and hashtag #tessiefoodculture or tag me @tessiefoodculture on Instagram!


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