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    Chicken Tagine

    My Moroccan Chicken not only looks super inviting, but it’s loaded with so many layers of flavors. Chicken Tagine is a traditional staple of Moroccan cuisine, known for its slow-cooked, tender chicken with a rich blend of spices and aromatic herbs.

    Our Beef Tagine and Meatball Tagine are super popular recipes on GypsyPlate, and now I am very excited to present my version of Chicken Tagine with olives and preserved lemons along with dried fruits.

    Chicken Tagine is a wonderful Moroccan stew, uniquely flavored with a variety of spices, dried fruits and olives.

    Moroccan food is one of my favorites to try in our international travels. Unfortunately, I can’t find much of this amazing Northern African food in the part of the world where we live. So the next best thing is to just cook all this good food in my own kitchen.

    I am super satisfied with how this Chicken Tagine turned out when I introduced it to one of of dear friends during a holiday get together.

    What is Chicken Tagine?

    Chicken Tagine is a classic from Moroccan cuisine that I love for its unique flavors. It’s named after the special pot it’s cooked in, called a tagine, which has a cone-shaped lid that helps steam and flavor meld beautifully. Traditionally, the Berber people of North Africa made these pots from local clay to slow-cook their food over open fires.

    Spices like cinnamon, saffron, and ginger, introduced by the Arabs and Moors, really elevate the dish’s flavors. When I make Chicken Tagine, I typically include veggies, fruits, and a rich mix of spices. It often has olives, lemons, and dried fruits, blending savory, sweet, and tangy tastes. It’s a wonderful, hearty dish that really showcases the depth of Moroccan cooking.

    Chicken with olives and dried fruits cooking in a red cooking vessel.

    Ingredient Needed

    For Chicken Marination:

    • Chicken Thighs: I prefer them for their juiciness and rich flavor. Bone-in thighs with the skin removed are best for this recipe. You can also use whole chicken cut into pieces, or boneless chicken thighs.
    • Moroccan Spices: Blend of cinnamon, cumin, ginger, coriander, black pepper, paprika, and turmeric.
    • Fresh Herbs: Cilantro and parsley.
    • Garlic: My favorite aromatic.
    • Honey: Balances the spices with its natural sweetness.
    • Saffron Threads (optional): Adds a beautiful color.
    • Preserved Lemon Pulp: Adds a unique, tangy citrus flavor. I usually find them in specialty store, or order online.

    For Chicken Tagine:

    • Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the onions..
    • Onion: Foundation for the dish.
    • Garlic: I know it’s already in the marinade, but a little extra doesn’t hurt!
    • Tomato: Fresh.
    • Dried Fruits: Apricots and prunes.
    • Preserved Lemon Rind: For more of that lemony tang.
    • Green Olives: For a salty, briny layer.

    Chicken Tagine Recipe

    1. Marinate Chicken: I combine chicken thighs with Moroccan spices, fresh herbs, garlic, honey, optional saffron, preserved lemon pulp, and olive oil. Then, I marinate everything for 2 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.

    Chicken thighs marinating in a bowl.

    2. Sauté Onions and Garlic: In a pan, I heat some olive oil and sauté sliced onions with a pinch of salt until they’re soft. Then, I add sliced garlic and cook it for another minute.

    3. Start the Chicken: I place the marinated chicken in a single layer over the onions in the pot.

    Uncooked chicken thighs arranged in a cooking vessel.

    I cover the pan and cook the chicken for about 10 minutes, then I flip the pieces and cook for another 5 minutes.

    The same chicken after cooking for a bit.

    4. Add Tomatoes and Fruits: I arrange tomato slices over the chicken and place apricots, prunes, preserved lemon rind, and olives around the chicken pieces. At this point, I add water to the remaining marinade and pour it into the pan. Then I cover and cook everything for another 10 minutes.

    The dish with tomatoes and dried fruits added.

    6. Finish the Dish: I flip the chicken over and continue cooking it covered for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is tender. I make sure to flip the chicken a few more times during the cooking process to ensure even cooking. Afterward, I taste the dish and adjust the salt if needed, though I don’t always add it due to the saltiness from the preserved lemons.

    Final product after cooking.

    Serving Suggestions

    Couscous: Traditional and light, couscous absorbs the flavors of the tagine sauce beautifully. I have a great Moroccan Couscous recipe as a side.

    Bread: Moroccan flatbread or crusty bread is perfect for scooping up the sauce and chicken.

    Rice: A simple bed of white rice or Saffron Rice makes a great base for the tagine, especially for soaking up the delicious juices.

    Roasted Vegetables: Veggies like carrots, zucchini, or bell peppers, roasted with a touch of olive oil and seasoning, go great with my tagine.

    Tagine served with Moroccan couscous.

    Possible Variations:

    1. Add Vegetables: I can really play around with the vegetables in my Chicken Tagine. I like to add sliced carrots and potatoes right with the chicken to get them tender, and throw in bell peppers and zucchini partway through cooking to keep them a bit crunchy. Chickpeas, eggplant, butternut squash, green beans, and cauliflower are also great additions. I just adjust the cooking times depending on how soft or firm I want them.

    2. Different Proteins: Sometimes, I switch up the protein and use lamb, beef, or fish instead of chicken to give the dish a different flavor.

    3. Spice Adjustments: For the spices, I adjust the blend to be milder or spicier according to what I’m in the mood for. Adding Chermoula or Harissa to the marinade brings in a whole new flavor profile.

    4. Fruit Variations: I also like to experiment with the fruits in the tagine. Instead of apricots and prunes, I might use raisins, figs, or dates to add a different kind of sweetness.

    5. Nut Additions: For a bit of crunch and nutty flavor, I include almonds or pine nuts.

    6. Herb Varieties: And for the herbs, I love experimenting with different varieties like mint, thyme, or rosemary to add new aromatic dimensions to the dish.

    Alpana’s Tips

    • Marinate Longer: If I have the time, I marinate the chicken longer to really enhance the flavors.
    • Use Quality Spices: Fresh, high-quality spices make a significant difference in flavor.
    • Balance Sweet and Savory: I adjust the amount of fruits like apricots and prunes to get the perfect balance of sweet and savory according to my taste that day.
    • Low and Slow Cooking: I cook the tagine low and slow, letting it simmer gently for a longer time. This method allows the flavors to meld beautifully, and the chicken becomes incredibly tender.
    • Check Liquid Levels: I also keep an eye on the liquid levels during cooking to make sure there’s enough to prevent the dish from burning and to create a delicious sauce.
    Chicken Tagine is a wonderful Moroccan stew, uniquely flavored with a variety of spices, dried fruits and olives.

    As I wrap up this recipe, I hope you’re inspired to bring a taste of Moroccan cuisine into your own kitchen. It’s a dish that brings together simple ingredients and spices to create something truly remarkable.

    Perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion, Chicken Tagine is not just about the flavors it brings to the table, but also about the warmth and comfort it adds to any meal.

    Chicken Tagine, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Serving of Moroccan chicken tagine on the Gypsy Plate.

    More great chicken recipes:
    Chicken Marbella
    Chicken Vesuvio
    Marry Me Chicken
    Chicken Chasseur
    Coca Cola Chicken
    Chicken Provencal
    Fricase de Pollo
    Peri Peri Chicken

    Featured image for chicken tagine recipe.

    Chicken Tagine

    Yield: 5-6 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 55 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

    My Chicken Tagine is a wonderful Moroccan stew, uniquely flavored with a variety of spices, dried fruits and olives.


    Chicken Marination

    • 5-6 chicken thighs, bone-in and skinless
    • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
    • 1 tsp cumin powder
    • ½ tsp ginger powder
    • 2 tsp coriander powder
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • ⅛ tsp turmeric
    • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
    • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp honey
    • 13-15 saffron threads (optional)
    • Pulp of 1 preserved lemon (use the rind later)
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil

    Chicken Tagine

    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, sliced
    • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
    • 1 large tomato, sliced
    • 6-7 apricots
    • 6-7 prunes
    • 4-5 slices of preserved lemon rind
    • 8-10 green olives


    1. Toss the chicken with all marinade ingredients. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or up to 6 hours.
    2. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add sliced onions with a dash of salt and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic cloves and sauté for a minute.
    3. Arrange chicken pieces over onion in one single layer (don't discard remaining marinade). Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for another 5 minutes.
    4. Arrange tomato slices all over the chicken, along with apricots, prunes, lemon rind, and olives all around the chicken. At this point you can add ¼ to ½ cup of water to the marinade and add this to the chicken. Continue cooking covered for 35-40 minutes, flipping the chicken from time to time, until chicken is fall off the bone tender. (If you want saucier chicken tagine, you can add up to 1 cup of water)
    5. Taste and adjust the salt. (Note that we have not used much salt in this recipe, as preserved lemons are salty, and we used one good sized lemon)


    1. Leftovers: Like any other stew, chicken tagine is great as leftovers, as all the flavors enhance overnight. For short-term storage, place the airtight containers in the refrigerator, where the Chicken Tagine will keep well for about 3 to 4 days. It can also freeze 2 to 3 months. Remember to label these containers with the storage date to keep track of their shelf life. When ready to eat, thaw frozen tagine in the refrigerator if necessary, and then reheat it on stove top or in the microwave until it's hot throughout.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 6 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 467Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 166mgSodium 637mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 5gSugar 17gProtein 33g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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