Chicken with Green Olives Morocco

4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 pounds chicken leg-thigh pieces, each cut into 2 pieces, trimmed of excess fat
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • About 1 inch cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground
  • A few saffron threads or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne, or to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 cups good-quality green olives, pitted
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste (at least 2 tablespoons)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


Put the oil in a deep skillet or flameproof casserole, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. After a minute or so, when the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin side down, and brown it well, rotating and turning the pieces as necessary and sprinkling them with salt and pepper as they cook, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion, ginger, the cinnamon, saffron, garlic, bay leaf, cumin, paprika, cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon or more black pepper and some salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the onion softens. Add the stock and raise the heat to medium-high. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up, and cook at a lively simmer while you prepare the olives.

Put the olives in a small saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil, drain, and repeat. Add the drained olives to the chicken. Cook until the chicken is done, about 15 minutes from the time you returned it to the pan. Add lemon juice, then taste and adjust the seasoning - it's unlikely, but not impossible, that the mixture will need some salt. Garnish and serve.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Broadway Books. All rights reserved.

RecID 8630

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