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One-Pot Moroccan Lemon & Olive Chicken with Rice

Chicken thighs browned in a cast iron skillet and then finished in the oven with saffron rice, chicken stock, lemons, olives, and an array of spices.

A close friend of mine made this dish for my family and I. The dish was so filled with warmth and love and care (plus she's just one of those people that has a general knack for making anything taste amazing) that I just needed to try this one out. I found a recipe online for this Moroccan dish and turned it into a one-pot wonder but of course it will just never be the same as that 1st night we had it and dined and laughed because it was just magical. However, this came out tasting awesome minus maybe just a pinch of that pixie dust.

This dish is completely done in one pot, I used a nice cast iron skillet since you'll need one that is oven proof. Seriously, anyone can make this dish and it'll impress the pants off everyone.


4-5 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on

1 Lemon, 1/2 of it thinly sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground white pepper

pinch of turmeric

A pinch of saffron threads dissolved in 1 tbsp of warm water

3/4 cup green olives

1 cup rice

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

3/4 cup water

1 preserved lemon, sliced (optional)

Parsley for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat oven-proof pot over medium high heat. Add the lemon slices and cook until caramelized. Remove and set aside.

3. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pot and once shimmering, add the chicken thighs skin-side down. Once browned (the chicken will be easy to remove if ready about 3-4 minutes) turn over and brown the remaining side. Remove and set aside on a plate.

3. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and add onion slices. Cook until translucent, stirring frequently.

4. Add the garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, ground white pepper, and turmeric. Stir to combine. The pot should be getting very dry so add the saffron water and a splash of chicken stock to release the stuck bits. Scrape with a wooden spoon.

5. Add the rice and stir a bit to combine everything. Add the rest of the chicken stock and water. Bring to a simmer for 1 minute.

6. Turn off the heat, place the chicken pieces back into the pot on top of the rice with the skin-side up and any chicken juices that have collected on the plate. Add the caramelized lemon slices on top of the chicken and rice. Place a lid on top and put in the preheated oven. After 35 minutes, remove lid and cook in the oven another 10 minutes (45 minutes in total).

7. Take the pot out of the oven and make sure all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the green olives and squeeze the other half of the lemon over top everything. Add the optional preserved lemon slices and parsley for garnish. Serve with your favorite vegetable on the side! Enjoy!

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