Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Chicken and lemon tagine with herby tabbouleh

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen Best Bites
This exotic one-pot is the perfect mixture of sweet and spicy. Serve it with a herby tabbouleh for a filling family supper.


  1. For the chicken and lemon tagine, heat a large, lidded saucepan until hot, add the butter and the chicken and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown (you may need to do this in batches). Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate.

  2. Add the onions, garlic and ginger to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the spices and cook for one minute, then return the chicken to the pan and stir until the chicken is coated in the spice mixture.

  3. Add the preserved lemons, honey and stock and bring the mixture to the boil.

  4. Reduce the heat until simmering, cover with a lid and cook for 45 minutes.

  5. Add the dates and stir well, then continue to cook, uncovered, for another 30-45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in the parsley.

  6. For the herby tabbouleh, drain the bulgur wheat and place into a large bowl. Add the other ingredients and stir until well combined. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  7. To serve, spoon the tabbouleh onto serving plates and spoon some tagine alongside.


For the chicken and lemon tagine

  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 1 medium chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5cm/2in piece root ginger, grated
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp ras-el-hanout (North African spice blend)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • 1 preserved lemon, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 750ml/1 pint 5fl oz chicken stock
  • 150g/7oz dates, stones removed, halved
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

For the herby tabbouleh

  • 140g/5oz bulgur wheat, soaked in cold water overnight
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 2 large bunches flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon juice only
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

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