My Chicken & Preserved Lemon Traybake is a quick and easy weeknight meal that is inspired by classic Moroccan chicken tagine. Chicken is rubbed in a delicious marinade full of spices and preserved lemons before being roasted with onions, carrots, potatoes and olives.
Read on down below to see how to make this recipe at home!
Cooking with Preserved Lemons
Preserved lemons are a special ingredient to cook with at home. Essentially, preserved lemons are lemons that have been sliced and packed with salt. They are jarred and are allow to sit and ferment to allow them to be preserved for later use.
Over time, the lemons lose their tartness and their flavour becomes nice and smooth. The rind also softens up and loses most of it’s bitterness, so you can even eat the rinds too! The flavour of preserved lemons intensifies if they are roasted, which is my favourite way to cook with preserved lemons!
I picked up my preserved lemons from a local company, Old Soul Jam Co. here in Victoria, BC. They are a limited edition/seasonal product available during the winter months, so I snagged a few jars while they were available. You can find preserved lemons in Middle Eastern or European grocery stores in jars. You definitely won’t miss them on the shelf as they are super yellow and gorgeous!
Flavours Inspired by Chicken Tagine
Chicken tagine is a classic Moroccan dish made with chicken, spices, preserved lemons, onions, and olives. It is cooked in a special clay cooking vessel called a tagine, which makes the chicken super tender and juicy.
Not all of us have a tagine at home, so I set out to see if I could make this recipe at home…and I found really great success with my traybake. Traybakes are so easy as all you do is put all your ingredients on one tray and bake it in the oven. I found that the chicken still remained tender and juicy, plus the roasted chicken and vegetables had a TON of flavour!
Get the Recipe!
Chicken & Preserved Lemon Traybake
For the Marinade:
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 segments preserved lemons
- 2 tablespoons honey
For the Chicken & Vegetables:
- 1 whole chicken cut up into pieces
- 1 yellow onion quartered
- 4 carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes cubed
- 1 cup Castelvetrano olives pitted
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley for garnish
- Begin by making the marinade. Combine all of the spices in a small bowl along with the olive oil and garlic. Use a knife to scrape out the pulp of the preserved lemon wedges, saving the lemon rinds for roasting. Add the pulp to the marinade along with the honey. Mix to fully combine.
- Place the chicken into a bowl and add the marinade. Mix to coat all sides of the chicken with the marinade. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and add the onions, carrots, potatoes and lemon rinds to the tray. Nestle the marinated chicken pieces amongst the vegetables in a single layer. Add the olives to the tray and drizzle the top of the chicken and vegetables with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Bake the chicken in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the tray and reserve on a plate. Set aside.
- Toss the vegetables in the chicken juices from the tray and place back in the oven, on the top rack, and continue to bake the vegetables for another 15 minutes.
- Once the vegetables are done, arrange them on a bed of couscous and top with the roasted chicken pieces and a garnish of parsley. Enjoy!
- You can marinade the chicken for up to 2 days in advance. This will impart more flavour into the chicken, but it is also tasty when roasted immediately.
- For the couscous, combine 3/4 cup of couscous with 1 cup of boiling water, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and let the couscous stem for 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and add chopped parsley and diced dried apricots for an authentic Moroccan flavour.