Djaj Mqualli (Chicken, Olive, and Lemon Tagine)

Nuvita Biscuits

Tagine, the Moroccan stew, shares its name with the terra–cotta pot it’s traditionally cooked in, whose neat conical lid promotes convection and even cooking. There are many versions; maybe the most classic is braised chicken, green olives, and lemons in a sauce fragrant with ginger and coriander.


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 whole chicken legs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp. crushed saffron threads
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 6 oz. green olives, cracked
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 jarred preserved lemons, cut into slices


Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil in an 8–qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper; add to pot and cook, turning, until browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add onions to pot; cook until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add spices; cook for 2 minutes. Return chicken to pot with stock; boil. Bake chicken, covered, until tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Stir in olives, butter, parsley, cilantro, and lemons into pot, and cook for 6 minutes. Serve with rice or flatbread.



Recipe Comments

  1. posted by JackReynolds on Feb 5, 2013

    I am currently steam cooking two chicken breasts from frozen, Surely if i steam them long enough they will be fine?

  2. posted by Cole on Feb 5, 2013

    Let’s say I have a horde of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and I want to bake/roast them very slowly in my oven. What is the lowest temperature/longest time I can use?

    (Also, feel free to tell me if I should put any water in the pan and if I should cover it.)


  3. posted by ericmreitz on Feb 5, 2013

    Need two side dish ideas. I ruled out rice since I don’t like it mixed in with the lemony juice of the chicken. Thanks!

  4. posted by JackReynolds on Mar 16, 2013

    Hey, im a bodybuilder, always cooking chicken, and steak, but my chicken in particular always seems to become so dry on the inside and loose texture. I tried cooking it in oil in a pan, on the grill and even a george forman. How can i cook my cutlets so that they will stay moist and deliciouse for a couple days? Thankyou!

  5. posted by JOHN KAISER PHD on Mar 18, 2013

    I am wanting to try flatting out some chicken breast or turkey and stuffing it, then rolling and cooking, but I can’t find a recipe because I don’t know what you call that. I want any suggestions I can get. Once I learn to flatten the meat, and with a little help, I can go from there .
    This is to Soda, hey , your great… that is it for sure. I am going to try it. I could not thank you, so maybe you will see this!

  6. posted by Tyler H on Mar 22, 2013

    What ingredients are use to make the sauce that go one the wings for braised wings?

  7. posted by Jeremy Xargor is my gamertag on Mar 25, 2013

    I just cooked Osso Buco and have this delicious braising liquid left over – red wine, onions, carrots, celery, garlic…. YUM.
    It is good enough to drink!

    Any suggestions with what I can do with this – it is probably 2 1/2 cups. Thanks!!!!

  8. posted by Sonny on Mar 25, 2013

    Mine is 23 months.

    He’s mostly homemade clam and seafood chowders. Loves them. Make with whole wheat flour for thickening.
    Eats a lot of fruit and some veggies.
    Whole wheat crackers.
    Chinese stir fry with brown rice.
    Lots of fruit
    Spaghetti and meatballs
    Braised Chicken and veggies.

    Other stuff too.

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