Braised Moroccan Chicken

Flavors you know and love, but somehow combined in a way that feels like travel to distant lands. Preserved lemon and green olives keep the braised chicken light and bright, while pillowy couscous reminds us that simple pleasures are still the best.


Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron (optional)
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and rinsed
  • 2 preserved lemons, pulp removed, rind cut into strips (or freshly grated lemon zest)

For the couscous

  • 1 ½ cups couscous
  • 2 ¾ cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a tagine or Dutch oven on medium high heat. Pat the chicken dry if needed and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place them in the skillet (in batches if needed) and brown on both sides, transferring them to a plate or bowl as they’re done searing.
  2. Add the onion to the skillet and cook until slightly softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute or until the spices are aromatic and lightly toasted.
  3. Return the chicken to the pot and stir to coat with the spice mixture.
  4. Pour in enough chicken stock to cover the chicken pieces two thirds of the way. Stir in the saffron.
  5. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover and simmer on medium low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Add the olives and preserved lemons, cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and turn the heat to high, cooking for an additional 6 to 8 minutes until the sauce has slightly reduced.
  7. To make the couscous: Bring 2 ¾ cups chicken stock to a boil in a small pot. Put the couscous in a bowl and pour the boiling chicken stock over the couscous and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let sit for 5 to 6 minutes then season with salt.
  8. To serve, Divide the couscous evenly amongst 4 shallow bowls, place the chicken on top then spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh cilantro.