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Djaj Mqualli | Moroccan Roasted Lemon & Olives Chicken | Loaded with Citrus, Olives and Creamy Chicken Livers, this Moroccan Rotisserie Style Chicken is a memorable dish to make. #Moroccan #Recipe #Moroccanfood #lemonchicken #tagine

Djaj Mqualli

Rotisserie Style Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Olives

Course Main Course
Cuisine Moroccan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 2 kg Chicken thighs
  • 3 large red onions
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 medium sized preserved lemon
  • 200 g chicken livers
  • 2 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Charmoula (Marinade)

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp rass al hanout optional


Marinade & Chicken Rub

  1. In a very large bowl, combine all ingredients for your Charmoula. Using a whisk, beat everything together until fully incorporated. Add your chicken thighs and using your hands make sure that you rub the Charmoula properly all over your chicken thighs. Cover and Place in the fridge to chill

Cooking Your Chicken

  1. On a large chopping board, roughly chop your onions and garlic clove. Cut your preserved lemon in 4-6 pieces and using your fingers, remove the pulp, leaving only the skin of the lemons. 

  2. In a large nonstick pot, heat up your sunflower oil on medium heat and add your chopped onions, garlic, lemon and cilantro. Cook for about 2-3 minutes then add your chicken livers and cook for another 3-4 minutes while continuously stirring. 

  3. Add your marinated chicken thighs to the pot and lower the heat to medium-low. Cover and let your chicken thighs cook for 35-45 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on your pot just in case it dries it or starts to burn. The sound you should be hearing while your chicken is cooking is that of a simmer and not sizzle. If you hear sizzling noises add 1/4 cup of warm water to your pot to stop the onions from burning.

  4. Once your chicken thighs are completely cooked, set your oven to broil and grab a nonstick baking sheet. Place your chicken thighs on the baking sheet and broil your chicken in the oven until the skin becomes golden brown. This should take 3-5 minutes, it all depends on your oven so keep an eye on it.

  5. While the chicken is roasting, grab a wooden spoon and continue stir your sauce. You will notice that the livers have started to slightly break apart and thicken the sauce. Cook your sauce down until it gets slightly thicker and remove from the heat. Add your cup of pitted olives to the sauce while its hot and stir. 

  6. Serve your chicken on top of a ladle of sauce, topped with some olives and chicken livers. Enjoy

Recipe Notes