Make this whole braised chicken, then check out our pepper, date and harissa tagine, Moroccan wings with herb couscous and more Moroccan-inspired recipes

Sofian Msetfi says: "Growing up in a Moroccan household, family dinners on Sundays were a massive routine for us. My favourite go-to comfort meal is braised chicken with lemon and olives. You cook all of the ingredients together in a clay tagine, which really brings out the flavours of everything – ginger, cumin, coriander and saffron. Traditionally, the meal is shared from the tagine and eaten with Moroccan flatbreads."


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 50ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 7 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp saffron powder or a pinch of saffron strands
  • 2l fresh chicken stock
  • 3 lemons, halved
  • 300g pitted green olives
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander and flat-leaf parsley, plus extra of each to serve
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped


  • STEP 1

    Season the chicken by rubbing salt all over, then set aside to rest. Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat the oil in a very large, wide, deep ovenproof pan over a medium heat and fry the onions, garlic and spices with a pinch of salt for 6-8 mins or until golden brown and soft. Add the stock, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.

  • STEP 2

    Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan, then add the spent lemons. Drain the olives, reserving 30ml of the brine from the jar. Add the reserved brine and olives to the pan along with the herbs.

  • STEP 3

    Add the chicken to the pan and cover with a lid or foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hr. Add the chopped potatoes and roast for a further 45 mins until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 30 mins before serving.

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