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The World’s Best and Easiest Weeknight Dinner: Chicken and Preserved Lemon Tagine

My mother has a wonderful new hobby, which is making me preserved lemons. How great is that? I’m awash in those beautiful salty treats, and they’re making their way into everything from sauces, to vinaigrettes, to dips, and into this quick and easy weeknight dinner.

They’re kind of like the trick you never knew you had up your sleeve. And then one night you (as always) think to yourself, “What the *expletive* am I going to make for dinner tonight?”

Then you open the meat drawer, and see chicken.

And you look in your hanging produce basket and see you have an onion.

Then you check your condiments and see you have green olives.

And you reach for those dependable spices that you always have within arm’s reach.

Then, finally your fingers do the walking, and you grab that jar of preserved lemons.

And that, my friends, is the joy of those lemons.

They take what could be a bit of boring stove top chicken dish, into a vibrant chicken and preserved lemon tagine that literally makes your knees buckle with joy and flavor.

Preserved lemons are just that good. I’m currently negotiating with my mother to have her write up a post on how to make them (my opening salvo was a bottle of Apothic Red Blend for her troubles), and so hopefully we’ll have that on the blog soon.

Until then, enjoy your newest favorite weeknight meal!


Chicken and Preserved Lemon Tagine

If you have preserved lemons, green olives, chicken, and an onion, you have the base for an insanely simple and delicious weeknight meal!
Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Author Launie Kettler


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron (Note: If you don’t have saffron on hand, just up theturmeric to 2 teaspoons.)
  • 2 medium thin chicken breasts, pounded out to 1/2-inch thickness
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth, dry white wine, or water
  • 2 tablespoons diced preserved lemons (Note:Some people just use the flesh, some people just use the rind, I use the wholething, and I don’t rinse it. So, your preference is your preference here.)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped green olives
  • Cilantro, for garnish


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat untilit shimmers.
  • In a small bowl combine the turmeric, paprika, hot smokedpaprika, Aleppo flakes, salt, and saffron.
  • Coat both sides of the chicken with the spice mixture.
  • Place the chicken in the pan, and cook for 5-7 minutes, oruntil well browned.
  • Flip, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until themeat registers 165 degrees with a meat thermometer.
  • Remove chicken to a plate, and tent with foil.
  • Add onions to the pan and season with pepper. Sauté for 3minutes, or until just beginning to soften.
  • Stir in the broth, vermouth, dry wine, or water andpreserved lemons.
  • Simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the liquid has reducedslightly and the onions are cooked through.
  • Add the chicken and olives to the pan.
  • Cook until chicken has warmed back through.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

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