Moroccan Lemon Olive Chicken

The sharp zesty lemons and salty slightly bitter olives really compliment the chicken in this one-pot Moroccan dish.


1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 chicken breasts or chicken thighs (with or without skin on)
1/2 tsp salt
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Pinch turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp saffron water*
Pot of La Verde olives
60ml water
1 preserved lemon diced
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

*Saffron water – dissolve 1 pinch of saffron threads in 1 tbsp of warm water.


Heat a large casserole pan with a lid over medium high heat.

Add the lemon slices and cook for around 3 minutes until slices are caramelised. Remove the lemon slices and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat and when the oil is shimmering, add the chicken breast/skin side down.

Cook for 3-5 minutes until chicken is browned. If chicken releases easily from the pan, it’s ready to turn.

Turn chicken and cook until remaining side is browned. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the onions. Cook for around 7 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring frequently.

Add the garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric, cinnamon and pepper. Stir for about 1 minute.

Add the saffron water and regular water. Stir making sure you scrape up the brown bits on the pan.

Add the chicken pieces back to the pan and bring the mixture to the boil.

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Check that the chicken is cooked through. 

Remove the lid and add the olives, preserved lemon and fresh lemon juice and stir to combine.

Serve over couscous or rice and garnish with the lemon slices and fresh parsley.