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Chicken Lemon and Olives Closeup

Chicken Lemon and Olives

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Moroccan
Keyword: Chicken, Lemon, Olive
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Print Recipe


  • Large skillet with a lid


  • 4 chicken thighs bone in skin on
  • tsp Ras El Hanout
  • tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges
  • 1 cup green olives pitted
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  • In a Large work bowl, add the Ras El Hanout and Turmeric to the Chicken Thighs. Toss to fully coat chicken in both spices. Cover and set aside
  • Heat olive oil in the skillet over medium high heat
  • Add chicken thighs, skin side down and cook for three minutes
  • Flip chicken thighs, and cook for two minutes more
  • Remove chicken thighs and set aside
  • Add onions to pan and saute until they begin to soften. They will pick up some color from the remaining spices and bits from the browned chicken
  • Add about ¼ cup of the chicken stock to the pan and scrape the browned bits from the pan to incorporate into the stock and onions
  • Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up. Add lemon wedges and olives
  • Add chicken stock until it comes about one third of the way up the side of the chicken. If necessary, add some water to get to the right level
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook, remaining covered for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked (165oF/73.8oC)
  • Remove from pan, plate chicken, and spoon sauce, lemon and olives over the top


Ras el hanout is a spice blend that literally translates to “head of the shop” implying the very best of the spices the merchant has to offer. Since every shop and every family has their own version of ras el hanout, there is no ‘definitive’ version or recipe. I have my own blend I have been making for years, combining 18 different spices. There is often a version available in the grocery stores — Whole Foods near me carries it, as does Amazon. Alternatively, you can make your own quick blend with spices that are individually easy to find . I make a large batch and store it in an airtight container to use whenever I want to add a Moroccan hint to my meals.
Ras al Hanout recipe:
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cloves