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Moroccan Baked Chicken Tagine with Potatoes and Olives



Moroccan Baked Chicken and Potatoes

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

This baked Moroccan chicken tagine can be offered as a complete one-dish meal with Moroccan bread. The chicken and potatoes are seasoned with saffron, ginger and other Moroccan spices. Add thinly sliced carrots for color and variety. Smen, a Moroccan preserved butter, is an optional ingredient.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 4.


  • 1 whole chicken, cut in half
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 4 small to medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon smen (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled


Preheat an oven to 425° F (220° C). Mix the spices in a small bowl and set aside.

Spread most of the olive oil in the bottom of a large baking dish. Distribute the sliced onions and garlic all around and add the smen, if using.

Place the chicken, skin side up, in the center of the dish and sprinkle with about half of the spice mixture. Toss the potatoes (and carrots, if using) with the remaining spices and arrange the vegetables around the chicken. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken, and add the olives and 3/4 cup of water.

Cover the baking dish loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil, baste the chicken with the juices and continue baking, uncovered, for another 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken tests done. Baste the chicken and vegetables occasionally while they finish cooking.

Serve the chicken directly from the baking dish, or transfer everything to a serving platter.

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