Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives


I posted a Chicken Tagine recipe review from Cooking Light almost a year ago here. That was so great, I gave it five stars, my highest rating. I was browsing Cooking Light’s website recently and they had a section on one pot meals and I’ve been on a kick lately since I got this, my new love. I saw this Tagine recipe and it sounded relatively simple and I had most of the ingredients on hand so I went for it. I definitely had a mind lapse because I had completely forgotten I had a good tagine recipe until I started writing this review up and saw the first one. Sadly, I wish I had stuck to that one.

It’s not that this one was so bad, but after eating it for dinner three nights in a row, I’ll never make it again. It was just one of those dishes that seemed quite good night one and by last night, ugh, I couldn’t even finish my plate, I dumped it. I can’t put my finger on what exactly turned me off from this. But there were a couple of issues.

First, I will admit I love green olives, but something about hot olives grosses me out. It just doesn’t taste right. And that flavor seemed to be throughout the dish, even if I took a bite without olives in it. Secondly, the chicken. I used chicken breasts on the bone instead of legs. I don’t cook often with chicken breasts on the bone so I’m not sure if this is normal, but we kept finding little pieces of bone that fell off of the chicken. That was annoying and gross and potentially dangerous!

I wouldn’t make this recipe again. The first night I liked it. The sauce was good, the chicken was moist, but then by the third time, it just wasn’t doing it for me. If you’d like a good tagine recipe, follow my link above from a year ago.

Overall rating – 2.5 stars

Chicken Tagine with Lemons and Olives

The traditional version of this classic Moroccan stew is made with homemade preserved lemons and involves a long cooking time. We’ve simplified the recipe by using lemon rind and juice to achieve the same subtle lemon flavor. Ours is also slow-simmered to yield a rich broth like the original’s, but it’s made in a fraction of the time. Since this dish is so saucy, it’s best served over couscous.

2 chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds), skinned
2 chicken leg quarters (about 1 pound), skinned
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup pitted whole green olives
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken, broth, olives, cinnamon, and ginger; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Turn chicken over; cook, uncovered, 15 minutes. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon; place 1 chicken piece on each of 4 plates. Add lemon rind, juice, cilantro, and parsley to pan; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Spoon sauce over chicken.Yield:  4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken piece and 1/3 cup sauce)CALORIES 345 (30% from fat); FAT 11.5g (sat 2.5g,mono 5.9g,poly 2.3g); PROTEIN 49.9g; CHOLESTEROL 145mg; CALCIUM 87mg; SODIUM 769mg; FIBER 2.5g; IRON 3.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 9.2g Cooking Light, MAY 2001



  1. Robin said

    I don’t really like hot lives either. I’ve never made a tagine with olives before (probably for that very reason.) Oh well, every recipe can’t be a winner! 🙂

  2. melissa said

    I’m not sure how I feel about cooked olives either. steve hates them cooked or not, so I probably wouldn’t put them in anyway. but yeah, I guess this wasn’t quite what you were expecting. 😦 sorry, that always stinks.

    and I see what you mean about this recipe versus your one from last year – which looks reeeally good by the way and in which I would also omit chickpeas. I’m going to copy it down for my list! 😉

  3. foodiedani said

    Hey Robin and Melissa,

    Too weird, three of us with a disdain for warm olives. lol!

    But yes, Melissa, the one from last year was awesome.


  4. Sara said

    I will go ahead and be the fourth to post that comment…….ick to hot warm olives!! Your recipe from a year ago looks awesome, will have to try that one time!

  5. foodiedani said

    Hey Sara,

    We should start a “Hot Olive Haters Club.” Yuck, even the name sounds gross! But yes, skip this recipe and try the one from last year!


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