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  • Writer's picturePat Browne

Moroccan Chicken with Apricots and Lemons

by Lucy Parissi (

This vibrant Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Lemons is simply packed with flavour! Deliciously tender chicken and tantalising spices transform this easy casserole into a feast for the senses. Serve with fluffy couscous to soak up the delicious sauce.


  • Chicken legs, bone-in and skin on or chicken thighs

  • Spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika and cinnamon. You can also use Ras el hanout spice mix which combines all these spices and is commonly used in tagine recipes.

  • Brown sugar or honey for a touch of sweetness

  • Garlic and onions

  • Bell pepper

  • Squash or sweet potatoes – or whatever root vegetables you prefer

  • A tin of cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes

  • Dried apricots

  • Chicken stock – from a stock cube is fine

  • Lemon slices

  • Toasted slivered (flaked) almonds to garnish


STEP 1. Pat the chicken dry – do not rinse. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.

STEP 2. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish. Brown the chicken over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side until golden. You might need to do this in batches. Set the chicken aside.

STEP 3. Lower the heat and fry the onion, garlic, bell pepper for 3-5 minutes until slightly softened.

STEP 4. Stir in the spices, salt and sugar and cook for a minute until the spices release their aromas.

STEP 5. Add the squash, apricots, cherry tomatoes and stock. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and stir everything together. Bring to a boil.

STEP 6. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the chicken and preserved lemons. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

STEP 7. Uncover the pot, increase heat to medium and cook for a further 10 minutes until the liquid is slightly reduced and chicken is cooked through. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Remove the bay leaves, lemon slices and cinnamon stick.

STEP 8. Dry fry the almonds in a heavy skillet until slightly toasted – watch they don’t burn!

STEP 9. Scatter the almonds over the tagine and serve with couscous or rice. Garnish with mint leaves and lemon zest.


  • Preserved lemons are frequently used in North African tagines. They can have a pronounced bitter taste that might overpower your stew. If you are not familiar with them and unsure if you like them, use a few slices of fresh lemon instead. Try also Opies sliced lemons in lemon juice which have a milder taste.

  • I used chicken legs but you can use chicken thighs or drumsticks. Leave the skin on or remove as you prefer. I tend to avoid chicken breasts in casserole dishes as it can get a bit tough.

  • Which dried fruit? Substitute dried apricots with dates, prunes, raisins or sour cherries.

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