February 18, 2014

Chicken with preserved lemons, olives, and saffron couscous

Serving bowls of chicken with preserved lemons and olives along with a bowl of saffron couscous.

You may remember that early last month I made salted preserved lemons. Well they are now ready to eat! This is the first dish that I have used them in. I tasted a small piece of one on its own and it was really different -- the lemon and salt flavors were there, but mellowed. 

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase an item from these links, a small percentage goes to support the work of this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The rind had become soft and almost silky. They added a nice, bright flavor to this dish and I'm looking forward to using them more. I think that they will go really nicely in other stews and with vegetables like broccoli. This dish combines a lot of Moroccan flavors and turned out to be quite delicious. It will serve about four people.

Today we made another attempt (at a different location) to see a snowy owl and I was skunked again! I couldn't believe it. We did see some snow buntings, which were new for me, but that just wasn't as exciting as the snowy. I hope that I'll see one before they start moving back up north again. We did some snow shoeing this weekend as well. I'm trying to enjoy the last of winter as it's going to get up to 50 degrees later this week! I know we'll still have cold and snow for another month or so, but I like to make sure to enjoy each season to its fullest before the next one comes.

Serving bowl of Chicken with preserved lemons and olives and saffron couscous.

Chicken with preserved lemons, olives, and saffron couscous
1 to 1-1/2 lbs. bone-in chicken thighs (I remove the skin - this is optional)
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
a couple dashes cayenne pepper
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 salted preserved lemon, pulp removed and finely chopped
1 cup large green olives
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

for the couscous:
1 cup water
pinch of saffron (sub turmeric if needed)
pinch of salt
1 cup couscous

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sprinkle the chicken with the flour. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the chicken thighs. Leave them still for about 4-5 minutes, until they are browned and will flip easily. Turn the chicken and stir in the onion, paprika, coriander, and cinnamon. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown. Stir in the garlic. Let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the chicken broth and stir well to deglaze the pan. Let the broth come to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes and then stir in the preserved lemon and olives. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees). Remove the cinnamon. Stir in the parsley and cilantro.

In a saucepan, add the water, saffron, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Whisk in the couscous, turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. 

Serve hot, topped with additional parsley/cilantro, if desired.

Serving chicken with preserved lemons, olives, and saffron couscous.


  1. I'm so glad you finally got to use your preserved lemons! This tagine sounds like the perfect way to try them out...so full of rich flavor!

  2. This dish looks fabulous and I've been wanting to splurge on some saffron threads! So glad to hear the preserved lemons turned out well. I bet they would be fabulous with that broccoli. Wishing you luck with the spotted owl hunt!

  3. Looks and sounds amazing. I really want to try this dish as I love the flavors and spices going on in here. I have everything in my pantry to make except the preserved lemons so I guess I will have to read your recipe for that... Going to share this recipe!

  4. making preserved lemons is a project I have been meaning to make! Your tagine looks absolutely mouthwatering!

  5. This sounds great and I love the idea of the saffron cous cous.

  6. This must be very tasty, Amy. I love the saffron cous cous too.

  7. Karen (Back Road Journal)February 19, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    One of my favorite ways to use preserved lemons. I like that you added saffron to your couscous. Your meal is perfect for this cold weather.

  8. What a great dish! I love preserved lemons, and they go so wonderfully well with chicken. And saffron in the couscous? Yes, please.

  9. Wow, I never thought in adding lemon preserve in chicken...and yes, sounds delicious Amy, with olives and perfect paired with saffron couscous...beautiful meal!
    Hope you are having a great week :D

  10. Must have been very exciting to taste the preserved lemons and see the result.
    Love the saffron couscous, it's a perfect combination with olives and chicken.

  11. This looks like a fabulous way to make use of your homemade preserved lemons!

    I hope you get to see the snowy owl soon!

  12. This all sounds wonderful. blessings dear. Catherine xo

  13. I have a preserved lemon in my fridge that I want to use. This helps Amy. And it looks so good. I hope you see the snowy owl. I would love to hear about it!

  14. Amy, I love this recipe. It looks so savory and I love preserved lemon with chicken, so I know that I will enjoy it. Thanks for the great inspiration ;)

  15. I love using preserved lemons so thank you for sharing this recipe :)

  16. Oh how I love preserved lemons. I always have a batch in the fridge and when it starts to get low, I make another batch. This is another great recipe for me try! Love seasoning with the ingredients!

  17. The preserved lemons must have given such a unique flavour to the chicken dish... looks so good.

  18. I've only recently discovered and fallen in love with the flavor of preserved lemons. Your chicken must taste amazing! I wish this was my dinner tonight :)

  19. What an interesting medley of flavors! I'd never even heard of preserved lemons, but I bet they've got some amazing flavor.


I love to hear from you!