Moroccan chicken with saffron and preserved lemon

Moroccan chicken with saffron and preserved lemon


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About this recipe: Chicken thighs are marinated in olive oil, garlic, turmeric and cumin, then braised with saffron, preserved lemon, olives and artichokes in this fragrant Moroccan dish. Serve with couscous, quinoa or rice.


Serves: 4 

  • 60ml olive oil, or to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 large chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 500ml water, or as needed
  • 16 saffron threads
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, pulp discarded and thinly sliced
  • 30g olives, or to taste (optional)
  • 2 artichokes from a jar, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley (optional)

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Extra time:4hr marinating  ›  Ready in:5hr 

  1. Whisk 60ml olive oil, garlic, turmeric, cumin seeds, salt and pepper together in a bowl and pour into a resealable food bag or container. Add chicken thighs, coat with the paste and seal bag or container. Marinate in the fridge, 4 hours to overnight.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade; discarde marinade. Add chicken thighs skin-side down to pot and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Flip chicken thighs and cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes more.
  3. Lower heat to medium and add water to cover chicken halfway, cover pot, and cook for 20 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle saffron threads onto chicken and top with preserved lemon slices. Replace lid and cook until chicken is no longer pink at the bone and juices run clear, about 5 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a serving platter.
  4. Continue simmering liquid in pot until thickened to sauce consistency, 5 to 7 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken; top with olives, artichokes and parsley.

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