Roast chicken with preserved lemon

The sweet zing of chicken and lemon is always a great way to add flavour a texture to a chicken roast. Best served with steamed couscous, sliced red onion, parsley and roasted blanched almonds.

  • 1 hr cooking
  • 3 hrs marinating
  • Serves 6
  • Print
Roast chicken with preserved lemon


Roast chicken with preserved lemon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped preserved lemon rind
  • 6 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2.5 kilogram chicken thigh cutlets
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup (250ml) boiling water
  • 4 medium brown onions (600g), sliced thinly
  • 4 wide strips preserved lemon rind
  • 150 gram drained green olives
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves


Roast chicken with preserved lemon
  • 1
    Combine chopped lemon rind, garlic, spices and half the oil in a large bowl with chicken. Cover; refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
  • 3
    Combine saffron and the water in a small heatproof bowl.
  • 4
    Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan; cook chicken, in batches, until browned both sides. Remove from pan.
  • 5
    Add onion to same pan; cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add saffron mixture to pan; bring to the boil. Spread onion mixture into a large shallow baking dish; add chicken, in a single layer. Transfer to oven; roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • 6
    Sprinkle lemon rind strips and olives over chicken; roast, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
  • 7
    Serve chicken sprinkled with coriander.


We used brine-cured sicilian olives in this recipe for their lovely flavour and texture. Crack them open but leave the seeds in; use the flat blade of a large knife to split the olives. Remember to warn your guests about the seeds before they start eating.

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