5 May 2020

Chicken tajine with preserved lemons by Chef Karim Benbaba

A classic of Moroccan cuisine, the chicken tajine is the best-known traditional dish, the kind of meals that everybody loves, kids and adults alike! This rich and fragrant chicken tajine is laden with intriguing flavors and enhanced by the subtle perfume of spices and the special taste of candied lemon.
After revealing his harira soup recipe, Karim Ben Baba, Chef at La Grande Table Marocaine, shares a simple recipe to make at home. The elaborate version of this legendary dish is reserved for festive meals.


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, de-germed and chopped
  • ½ candied lemon (skin in strips, seeded and crushed pulp)
  • 3 cl lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley and chopped cilantro
  • 3 cl olive oil
  • 10 g powdered ginger
  • 4 g turmeric
  • ½ g saffron
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100 g pitted green olives


Prepare the marinade in a bowl by mixing olive oil, lemon juice, saffron, turmeric, powdered ginger, freshly ground pepper, chopped garlic, the pulp of the candied lemon and half of the chopped herbs. Rub the chicken with this combination, then pop it into the refrigerator for 4 hours to marinate.
Remove the meat from the marinade. Reserve the chicken legs on a baking sheet making sure to remove as much of the marinade as possible. In the tajine or in a pot, put the chopped onions and the marinade. Add a glass of water. Bring to a boil and cook over low heat for about 25 minutes (the onions must be cooked).
Add the chicken legs and a drizzle of oil olive. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 1 hour. Remove the thighs, reduce the sauce until a syrupy juice is obtained. Place the chicken thighs again in the tajine. Add the pitted olives, preserved lemon cut in julienne and a pinch of chopped herbs.
Heat the tajine over low heat and let it caramelize. Cover the tajine and serve hot.
Good tasting!