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

5 from 4 votes
The most delish Chicken Tagine with Olives adapted from one of our tour guides in Morocco!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Marinating Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 55 mins
Course Main Course, Dinner
Cuisine Moroccan
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.


This is traditionally served on its own, but you can always add rice or bread if you’d like something to soak up every last delicious drop.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 488mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 386IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg


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

  1. 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!

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

    1. 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?

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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?

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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??

  9. 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!!

  10. Made this tonight with Israeli Cous Cous. Sooo good! I love all the spices in the chicken dish! Really delicious! ♥️. I tried to post a photo on Instagram…but I am not too good with posting there. It is on Face book. So yummy! And I had all the ingredients right in my kitchen!

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