This Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Potatoes is made with chicken thighs, ground ginger, turmeric, and creamer potatoes. My favorite part of the tagine are the briny olives and distinct flavor of preserved lemon!
While tagines (Moroccan stews) are traditionally cooked in tagines (cone shaped earthenware), any heavy pot, pressure cooker, or Dutch oven will do. I learned how to make tagines, and actually learned how to cook, in Morocco. I went there as a graduate student while getting my Master’s in teaching English. Living in a small village with only a small local market for shopping meant I’d have to cook most of my meals!
Here are some reasons why I love tagines:
- They’re healthy.
- They’re a true one pot meal (meat, vegetable and sauce in one).
- They’re easy and versatile! Once you get the idea, there are so many different variations of spices, meat, and vegetables you can use.
- They’re fun to eat! They’re traditionally eaten from the same large platter. People sit around a table and eat the tagine using only bread and their hands!
HOW TO MAKE A TAGINE
So let’s make this brothy, savory North African specialty! Start by browning the chicken with the onions, salt and pepper in oil. The recipe calls for chicken thighs but is also delicious with chicken thighs and drumsticks or even chicken breasts. Be sure to use bone-in since the bones add flavor. There’s a saying I heard several times in Morocco that says “the flavor is in the bones.”
Once both sides of the chicken are nice and golden, add about two cups of water. I always find it easier to add water than to take it away, so aim to just barely cover the meat as in the picture shown above.
You’ll also add the spices now too. Be careful with the turmeric since, as you likely know, it likes to turn things bright yellow!
Cover the pot and cook the chicken for 20-30 minutes. Once cooked, remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to a plate and cover it to keep it warm. In the chicken’s place, add the potatoes and cook, covered. During the last five to ten minutes of cooking the potatoes, add the olives, parsley, cilantro, and preserved lemon slices. The preserved lemon adds the most amazing smell and taste. I promise you it’s like nothing else you’ve ever tasted!
Your sauce should have thickened up by now. If, after cooking the potatoes, the sauce is still on the watery side, remove the potatoes and cook the sauce uncovered until it becomes thick. Return the chicken to the pot to warm through and serve!
Tagines are traditionally scooped up and soaked up with bread. This is usually a must since the sauce is SO GOOD! Since there are potatoes in this tagine, I wouldn’t be disappointed if you needed to skip the bread due to carb overload.
My favorite tagine is the most traditional one which is chicken with preserved lemons, smen (preserved butter), and olives. This tagine has a very similar taste but I omited the smen and added potatoes.
There’s so much more I could say about tagines, but I’ll take that to mean I should share another tagine recipe sometime! For more classic Moroccan recipes, try my:Print
Make this one pot Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Potatoes for a flavorful, Moroccan inspired meal. It’s healthy, impressive, and delicious!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in, with or without skin
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2–3 cups water
- 1 pound and a half of creamer potatoes or new potatoes
- 1/2 cup green and or Kalamata olives
- 1/2 preserved lemon, cut into slices
- 1 tablespoon each chopped parsley and cilantro
1. In a deep skillet or Dutch oven, saute the onions, garlic, and chicken in olive oil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and saute for 7-10 minutes, turning the chicken once. Cook until chicken becomes golden.
2. Add the ginger and turmeric and just enough water to almost cover the chicken. Start with 2 cups water and add more if needed. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, turning the chicken half way through cooking.
3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a plate. Cover with aluminum foil.
4. Add the potatoes to the sauce and cook until the potatoes are cooked through and the sauce has reduced and has thickened. When potatoes are close to being cooked, add the olives, parsley, cilantro and preserved lemon or lemon juice. Cook for ten more minutes. Add the chicken back into the pot to warm through and serve!