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Chicken Chermoula Tagine with Olives

Chicken Chermoula Tajine

Simple Succulent Lemony Chicken Chermoula Tagine. Beginner-friendly and made with very simple ingredients.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Chilling time 4 hours
Servings 3 servings
Calories 310 kcal



  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh coriander
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1/2 cup hot water for the saffron
  • 1 small preserved lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  • 1 lb chicken drumsticks about 6-7 drumsticks
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives kalamata or green



  1. Place your saffron in a heat-safe cup and pour hot water over it. Let it sit to release for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients of the chermoula.

  2. Place the finely minced herbs in a large bowl.

  3. Prepare your preserved lemon:

    Cut in quarters, and then remove the pulp by sliding a knife along the interior of the skin. Finely chop the pulp, set aside the skin, and add the chopped pulp to the large bowl.

  4. Smash and mince garlic. Add to bowl.

  5. Add spices (salt, pepper, ginger, paprika, cumin) to bowl. Pour the saffron water atop. Add olive oil and mix.


  1. Add in the cuts of chicken to the chermoula bowl and mix with your hands until the chicken is well covered. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for 4 hours.

  2. Roughly chop red onion. Place 1/2 of the chopped onions at the bottom of the tajine. Place your marinated chicken on top of the onions, then pour the remainder of the sauce over top. Cover with the rest of the onions. Chop the lemon skins into cm-wide strips and add to the top of the onions.

  3. Warm up tajine on medium heat. Cook at a simmer with the cover slightly cracked to allow some steam to escape. We like to use a tablespoon between the bottom and top of the tajine to leave it slightly ajar.

  4. The tajine should have enough liquid because of the chermoula and onions, however, keep an eye and ear on it. If you notice that the liquid does evaporate (if you hear it sizzle, for example), you can add a splash of water to prevent it from burning. Cook on a simmer on medium-low for 40-45 minutes, keep an eye on it. You want to cook it until the meat falls off the bone.

  5. Once the tajine is ready, uncover the tajine and add the olives atop. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes for a saucy tajine. If you like your tajine on the thicker side, simmer uncovered for 15 minutes instead, to let more liquid evaporate and for the sauce to thicken.

  6. Serve with crusty bread and a sprinkle of freshly chopped coriander or parsley, to preference.