Chicken Tagine with Olives


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Tagine! It’s a way of life in Morocco and you’re going to love it! Chicken Tagine with Olives is the way to my heart!

Chicken and Olive Tagine from (@whatsgabycookin)

Let’s start with the basics. Tagine, is a dish that originated in Northern Africa and has since made its way across Europe and beyond. It’s particularly popular for dinner parties because it feeds a crowd and it’s incredibly flavorful. At it’s core, a tagine is large chunks of stewed meat, tons of spices, preserved lemons and fresh herbs on top. It’s cooked in a vessel that’s also called a tagine. It’s basically an earthenware dish with a tight fitting, cone-shaped lid. During cooking, that lid catches the rising vapor and condensation and allows it to drip back over the ingredients making them extra juicy and flavorful.

Yours truly was NOT able to haul an authentic tagine back from Morocco, hello, carry on only for life. So I did it with the next best thing, a skillet and a lid. A tagine is on my list of things to purchase one day! Until then… I gave it my Gaby spin and it’s delicious! Make it – you won’t be disappointed!

Chicken and Olive Tagine from (@whatsgabycookin)

For the entire Moroccan dinner party spread – here’s the full menu for you!

Chicken and Olive Tagine from (@whatsgabycookin)

Chicken Tagine with Olives

The most delish Chicken Tagine with Olives adapted from one of our tour guides in Morocco!
5 from 4 votes
Servings 6 people


For the Chicken

  • 8 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 bone in skin on chicken thighs

For the Tagine

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 16 green castelvetrano olives, pitted and smashed
  • 1 lemon, peeled into thick slices (using a vegetable peeler to peel the lemon peel into thick 1 inch strips)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • Mix garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric together with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Rub the chicken with mixture, cover, and refrigerate to marinate for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Heat oil in heavy skillet. Add chicken, and brown on all sides. Remove to plate and set aside. Add onions to skillet, and cook over medium-low heat about 15 minutes, until they begin to caramelize. Add the ground cinnamon and stir to combine.
  • Put chicken on onions. Scatter with olives and the lemon strips. Scatter over chicken. Mix stock and lemon juice. Pour over chicken.
  • Cover the skillet and place over low heat, and cook about 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Scatter parsley on top, and serve.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Moroccan Dinner Party Menu – What's Gaby Cooking

    […] Chicken Tagine with Olives – oh man did we have a lot of tagine!! It was the main dish on every table and we tried chicken, beef, lamb, goat, seafood and even an egg tagine. So I upped the ante on everything we had in Morocco and made an even better recipe! One that doesn’t actually require a tagine because you can bet I wasn’t hauling that thing home! […]

  2. Erin Ruger

    This looks amazing. For those who don’t like dark meat can I sub chicken breasts?

  3. Lucky Woman

    I am making this and wondering if you can recommend side dishes? Thanks!

    • Gaby

      if you scroll down on the post, right above the recipe, it suggests a full menu to go along with it! xx

  4. Maitri

    This menu was awesome! We had the olives and eggplant dip (I pureed the mixture since the eggplant was still to chunky), and then had the tomato salad with the chicken. Instead of making couscous, we just used pita bread. The chicken was flavorful without being spicy, tender and succulent. The tomato was the right complement to the spice. We finished with “caramel” topped ginger snaps coated in chocolate. Thanks so much for this lovely dinner menu!

  5. Janelle

    Dear Gaby,
    Your recipe says “low oven temp” could you please tell me your suggested temp? Thank you

    • Gaby

      Hey Janelle – on this recipe? I might be missing it but I think I call out all the temps! Was it a different recipe you’re referencing?

  6. S Fulton

    Thanks for the recipe! Do you have instructions for making ahead & reheating to serve at a dinner party? Thank you!

    • Gaby

      I would make it to completion and then reheat over medium low heat before serving!!

  7. Rebecca

    This is incredible. My family of 5 devoured this. That includes three picky boys ages 7, 5 and 3. Thank you as alwaysGaby!!!

  8. Shelby Leeder

    I am looking forward to making this menu for 8 people. How many does this menu serve? Also can the couscous be reheated? If so, how do you recommend reheating so as not to be too dry?
    Than you for this menu!

  9. Susan Denniston

    I am so excited you have your spin on Moroccan recipes here. We went to the tiny Lebanese restaurant you recommended in Marrakech that had amazing food and also we had a lot of vegetarian tangible. Do you think cauliflower (or maybe cauliflower with tomatoes) would be a good substitute for chicken for us vegetarians?

  10. Liesa

    I am going to make this for dinner tomorrow. Do you serve over rice or with potatoes?

  11. Debra Yacko

    I do have preserved lemons always on hand. Would I just substitute one of them whole for the lemon in your recipe?

  12. Cheryl Spound

    Are you placing the lemon peel into the recipe or lemon wedges with the peel on? Thanks.

  13. Caitlin Q.

    5 stars
    This recipe was so delicious and simple, I will definitely be adding it to the regular rotation! The only change I would make is to finish the chicken off in the oven, rather than on the stove, so that the skin stays nice and crispy. I served this over rice and the rice soaked up all the delicious sauce, yum!

  14. Vanessa

    5 stars
    I used chicken breasts and it was perfect!
    I served it with cous cous with chick peas and fresh herbs

  15. Jackie

    This looks amazing. However my husband HATES olives (I know, he’s missing out). Will the dish suffer if I leave them out or is there a good substitute??

  16. Maria

    5 stars
    This was such a huge hit with everyone in the family! Thank you so much for this and all other recipes, they’re delicious! I just got back from smell & taste loss from Covid so it made it even more of a triumph with all the spices bouncing around!! Thank you!!

  17. Amy

    This is beautiful and delicious. Next time I’m adding preserved lemons!!