This is a traditional Moroccan dish, designed to be prepared in a tagine, a special earthenware pot shaped with a wide but shallow base and a conical lid. If you don't have a tagine, an ordinary pot will do. In this recipe, we use classic Moroccan ingredients of olives and preserved lemon.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (41 votes)


  • 1.2 kg chicken
  • 1½ cups chermoula marinade
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) peanut oil
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp saffron thread
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 brown onions, halved, finely sliced
  • 1 tomato, peeled, seeded, chopped
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ bunch coriander, chopped
  • 2 large desiree potatoes, peeled, cut into wedges
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • 150 g green olives
  • 1 preserved lemon, cut into 6 segments
  • coriander leaves, to garnish
  • couscous or warm bread, to serve

Chermoula marinade (makes about 2 cups)

  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed chillies
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp saffron thread
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ preserved lemon, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup (125 ml) olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juiced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.



The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Marinating time overnight

To make the chermoula marinade, mix all the ingredients together thoroughly and leave for 30 minutes prior to use. The remaining chermoula can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Wash and dry the chicken and cut into 4 pieces. Rub the chicken all over with ½ cup chermoula, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Place a tagine or large, heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole dish, over medium-high heat. Add the peanut oil and brown the chicken, turning occasionally. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the salt, saffron, pepper, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, garlic and onions, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken back into the tajine or saucepan.

Add the tomato, parsley, coriander, potatoes and water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer gently, covered for 40-45 minutes.

When the chicken is just cooked, remove from the tagine and place into a serving dish.

Turn the heat to high and reduce the stock for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened, add the olives and preserved lemon. To serve, place the potatoes around the chicken, cover with the sauce and garnish with fresh coriander.

Serve with couscous or warm bread.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto.