Authentic Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Green Olives

As a Moroccan, I often quench when reading "Moroccan" cookbooks. Maybe I'm a bit autistic, but when I read recipes for a particular dish, and find that there are actually ingredients for about 3 random Moroccan dishes transformed in to one dish... It actually physically annoys me. Now don't get me wrong, I love experimenting with ingredients, and love fusion dishes, but when you call a dish 'Traditional Moroccan lamb with plums', I expect the recipe for the traditional Moroccan lamb with plum. And not some slices of caramelized onions thrown in there, with some lemon and dates or something that sounds like a Moroccan dish.

I was actually talking about this  to (and this is such a random story...) a salesman in a clothing store,
who asked me about a Moroccan spice called Ras el Hanout. I gave him a couple of suggestions to use it in, and than told him I could e-mail an actual authentic Moroccan recipe that has been passed on for generations. That inspired me to do a blog post about it. It made sense to me because when I'm looking for a recipe for Mexican mole for instance, I look for the real deal. Authentic recipes is what I like. So I thought I'd do the same for you lovely folk.

Now I like to use a whole chicken for this. But you could also use chicken legs.


- 1 whole chicken or 5 chicken legs
- 4 white onions
- 10 sprigs of coriander
- 7 sprigs of flat leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup of olive oil plus about 1/4 cup to pour in the pan
- salt to taste

- 1 1/2 tbs of Ras el Hanout (Moroccan mixed spices)
- a pinch of saffron threads
- 3 cups of chicken stock (you could also use 3 cups of water and a chicken stock cube)
- 2 preserved lemons (you could also use fresh lemons if you can't find the preserved ones) 
- 1 tbs butter
- a good hand full of green olives
- a hand full of almonds (cooked, pealed and baked in some oil to brown)
- 3 boiled eggs (or more if you want)


Preheat your oven to about 180 celcius.
 Clean the chicken inside and out. Put the onions, coriander, parsley, spices, salt, spices, saffron and a 1/3 cup of the olive oil in your food processor. If you don't have a food processor, chop everything up into small peaces and mix together in a large bowl. In a large, hot pan, pour your (1/4 cup of) olive oil. Once the oil is hot, put your chicken and all of the marinade i.e. onions and spice mix in to the pan. Let this sit for about 5 minutes on a medium to high heat so the skin can brown a bit. Turn your chicken and let it sit again for a couple of minutes until it's lightly browned. In the mean while you could stir the onions sauce every now and again, to prevent it from burning.
Add your chicken stock and the lemons and let everything cook with the lid on, on a medium heat.
once the chicken is done, take it out of the pan, leaving as much of the juices as possible in the pan. Put the chicken on a roasting pan, and spread the butter on top of the chicken. Put the chicken in the oven untill it has a golden brown color.
While your chicken is roasting in the oven, take the lid of of your pan, which is left with the sauce in it. Take the lemons out and add in your green olives. Turn up the heat so the sauce will thicken a bit.

To serve the chicken you can place the chicken on a large plate, pour the sauce with the olives over the chicken. You can than add the almonds and the eggs.

You can eat it as you wish of course, but if you really want to be traditional, you can eat it with your hands, with some bread; Moroccan style.

I hope you'll enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Let me know if you have tried to recreate this dish! Would love to see the result! You can tag me on instagram: @fabulicioushomelife or post a picture on my Facebook page!

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