Chicken Tagine with Herbs and Harissa Olives

This outstanding dish, inspired by a recipe from an organic farmer in Fez, Morocco, is especially flavorful because the bird is rubbed with tea before it’s stewed and then roasted. Slideshow:  More Moroccan Recipes 

Chicken Tagine with Herbs and Harissa Olives
Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins


  • 3 mint sprigs

  • One 4-pound chicken, liver trimmed and chopped

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 1/2 cups parsley leaves

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • Pinch of saffron threads

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 1/2 preserved lemon, rind only, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup pitted green olives

  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste

  • Crusty bread, for serving


  1. In a small saucepan, cover the mint with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain the tea into a small bowl and let cool.

  2. In a large pot, rub the mint tea all over the chicken. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, butter, coriander, turmeric, ginger, saffron and enough water to cover the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer gently until the chicken is tender but not falling off the bone, about 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.

  3. Strain the chicken cooking broth into a bowl; reserve the solids. In the pot, combine the solids with 8 cups of the broth. Add the chicken liver and the preserved lemon and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until thickened to a loose, sauce-like consistency, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°. Rub the chicken all over with the oil. Roast for about 30 minutes, until golden and crisp. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

  5. In a bowl, toss the olives with the harissa until evenly coated. Serve the chicken with the sauce, harissa olives and crusty bread.

Suggested Pairing

Full-bodied Rhône whites, made from Marsanne, Roussanne or Viognier, are superb with intensely savory roasts.

Related Articles