Without, دون , Sans: Alternatively titled Chicken Tagine with Lemon Preserves

window in morocco
door in morocco

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of hosting (for the second time) a mother/daughter foursome in my teaching kitchen. They wanted the full culinary experience: a hands-on cooking class with recipes, 3 course, and the stories and history behind the dish and cuisine. On "one" condition: no raspberries, strawberries, rosemary, thyme, beef, lamb, dairy, gluten or shellfish, and one of the four could have no spices or salt. Phew! Thank goodness I love a good challenge! 

Chickens going to market in Marrakesh, Morocco

Chickens going to market in Marrakesh, Morocco

I decided we would take a little "trip" to Morocco. Everyone happily peeled garlic and zested lemons for the first course of garlic and lemon soup. Which was served with a millet "couscous" (the best gluten-free couscous stand in I have found.) We zested and juiced more lemons to chill for our dairy-free lemon sorbet and third course (I went with a lemon theme, if you couldn't tell.) Which led us to the preparation of the main course. Each lady received their own - may or may not have been seasoned the night before - lovely ceramic tagine. 

(Note: Le Creuset's tagine does NOT need a flame tamer - just ask my shattered glass top stove ...) 

A tagine was the perfect way to pick and choose spices that were appropriate to each of the participants needs. After all, at À Table Ensemble, EVERYONE is welcome at the table. Especially on Morocco night!

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon

Serves 2

total Time: 1.5 – 2.5 hours

chicken tagine ingredients


1.     Slice the preserved lemon in half. Using a knife, carefully separate the flesh from the peel. Set the peel aside and finely chop the preserved lemon pulp.

2.     Add the pulp, olive oil, garlic, parsley, cilantro, ginger, turmeric, saffron, pepper and a cup of water to the tagine and mix.

3.     Pierce the chicken several times with a sharp knife or fork and add to the tagine. Turn the chicken pieces over in the “marinade” several times until they are fully coated.

4.     Add the onion.

5.     Turn the heat on low and slowly bring the temperature of the tagine up. Sear the chicken on all sides. Some pieces may stick; at this point, you may need to add a bit more water.

6.     After 15 minutes, place the lid on the tagine and bring to a simmer.

7.     Cook for 30-45 minutes, occasionally checking on the chicken and the sauce, adding water, when necessary or tilting lid to let steam escape. There should always be enough sauce at the bottom of the tajine so the chicken doesn’t burn.

8.     Once the chicken is done, taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.

9.     Add the lemon peel and olives, continue to cook for a few minutes uncovered to let the sauce thicken a bit.

* for dairy-free use a vegetable butter substitute



Chef Libby Oroza

Print Friendly and PDF