Chicken, Green Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine

*This post was created in partnership with KitchenAid. All photos, recipes, and opinions are my very own. As always, thanks so much for supporting me and my partners in this space.


At the end of January I walked through the process of making preserved lemons over on Instagram. You can still see the process in my story highlights if you missed it. Well I am so excited to finally be putting those lemons to use. Many of you made those lemons right alongside me and I know are very eager for this recipe as well.

If you’ve not had preserved lemon before the flavor is vastly different from a fresh lemon. They are tamed and perfumed. Floral and deeply fragrant. Complex, not biting as they can be when fresh. Regardless of the quantity of salt used in the preserving process the lemons themselves are not overtly salty. You can use both the flesh and rind in dressings, sauces, salads and roast dishes such as the chicken we’re making today. Here we are only using the ring but save the pulp and blitz with a bit of tahini and water for a simple sauce. Or pureé and blend into yogurt for a fragrant dip.

This Chicken, Green Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine served as the main course for our Moroccan feast in the shop. I served it alongside smoked beets with a cinnamon vinaigrette, couscous with roasted cauliflower and green harissa, M’semen bread, and a blood orange and olive salad. While perfectly fitting for a grand feast like that one the ease of this dish makes it a weekday winner as well.


There are a couple of ingredients that you may not regularly stock in your pantry. Preserved lemons for one. But now that we know how easily those can be made – my next batch has already begun! Saffron is the other and while I’ve not tried it without, I can imagine that it would be quite fine. Save yourself a trip to the store.

When in Morocco six years ago I schlepped home a rust-colored tagine of my own after falling in love with all the clay cooked meals I enjoyed. That tagine sits proudly on my shelf in the kitchen but most often, when making this dish, I reach for a deep skillet with a tightly fitted lid. I also never miss a chance to show off my stunning copper KitchenAid pots and pans.

One final note before I send you off into the kitchen. If you’ve been to a dinner in the shop, you’ve probably heard me gush about my cooktop. It’s that sleek black induction panel in the photos above. I’m in love and am telling the world about it. I went with induction because gas was not an option and after years of old apartment living I did not want to deal with an electric cooktop. While I may not be able to tell you about the science around induction (you can find out more about induction and the technology behind it here on the KitchenAid website) I will tell you how fast it is, how easy it easy to clean, and how I can both achieve a deep char and a steady simmer. And because KitchenAid’s copper pots are induction ready I am always cooking in style.

If you’re ever in Seattle, stop by and I will gush in person. I’ll make you tea just to show you how fast the water boils.

Chicken, Green Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine

Yield 4 servings


4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon gently crushed saffron threads

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch chili flake

1 preserved lemon

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup pitted, sliced green olives

1/4 cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley


Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat.

Sear the chicken thighs skin side down. Leave them undisturbed for at least 2 minutes or until the skin is copper in color and crisp.

Remove the chicken to a plate, then turn the heat down to medium.

Add the onions and a pinch of sea salt.

Sauté the onions until tender and lightly golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, and chili flake.

Remove the flesh from the preserved lemon and finely mince the peel. Add this to the pan.

Carefully add the white wine. Bring to a simmer then reduce the wine for 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth then return the chicken and the juices on the plate to the pan.

Scatter the olives and raisins over the top then cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

I like to finish the tagine in the broiler to crisp up the skin and caramelize the raisins. Broil for just a moment until the chicken skin crisps. Don’t walk away from the pan as I did - the broiler acts fast.

Serve warm over rice or couscous.

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Oaxaca, Mexico Travel Guide


One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “where do you get your inspiration?” It’s a great question and I ask it of others all the time, especially those who have been working in the same industry for many years. When you make your passion your career it’s vital that you continue to connect to the birth of the passion. As much as I believe in continuing to date your person I also am a firm believer in dating your creative self.

So my answer to that burning question; travel. There are other things such as reading cookbooks and going out to eat but for me nothing fills my soul like visiting a place that is unlike anything that exists in my day to day. All of my senses are shaken. I see colors brighter, I taste with more mindfulness, I’m like a little kid asking thousands of questions and delighted by all the newness. Coming home I have pages of notes and have gathered a long list of new-to-me ingredients that will permeate my recipes for years to come.

This trip’s purpose was purely for inspiration. I realize how delightfully dreamy that sounds and I feel the gift of it. Since the opening of the shop I’ve been so busy creating new recipes and menus to serve a crowd and I reveled in the thought of taking a trip to Oaxaca then coming home to fill the table with the food that inspired me on the trip.

Two of my dearest friends joined the adventure, Julie and Deborah. Julie and I are most motivated by food while Deborah was eager to learn about the art in Oaxaca. Each one of us walked away inspired.

Julie did the bulk of the planning for this trip so we have her to thank for all of the incredible information below.


Oaxaca Delights

4 bedroom AirBnB about 8 minutes from the Zocolo (city center). 

Our trip to Oaxaca would not have been the same without our incredible AirBnb host, Ainda. After a red eye flight we were greeted into her beautiful home with fresh squeezed orange juice, a plate of sweet, perfectly ripe fruit and memelas; a puffed tortilla topped with puréed black beans, queso fresco and the most incredible guacamole. In the very best Spanish I could muster I asked what was in that magical sauce. Estella, one of two ladies who served us breakfast every morning, assured me it was simply tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic, and avocado. 

Staying in the home of a local is absolutely my favorite way to experience a place. Home food will always be my heart and speak to me in a way that towering and often over-complicated restaurant food can’t. Especially in a bustling city a peaceful respite is a gift for the weary traveler. Any future trips to Oaxaca will definitely be planned with Ainda.


At our beautiful home. Again and again the food we ate in our home away from home was my favorite. Simple and so very Oaxacan. From the fresh produce, memelas (the puffed tortilla and bean dish I mentioned above) to the tlayudas (crisp tortillas with black bean sauce, queso oaxaca – like a salty string cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes and squash blossoms – basically like a Mexican pizza.

Ainda offers a mole class experience that for me was the highlight of the trip. Oaxaca is of course known for its mole’s and it is one of those dishes that you have to learn from someone rather than attempt to follow a recipe. There are subtle tips and techniques that flood this ancient sauce – like nearly blackening every ingredient to get a deep, nearly bitter char. And airing out the toasted chilies before softening in water. And those spicy seeds and veins of the chilies? Those sit on the grill (comal) until blackened and add a soft spice, roasted flavor and give the black mole that unmistakable color. And of course chocolate, which Estella makes herself with toasted cacao, almonds and spices.

Ainda and Estella escorted us to the market near their home and we followed them with mouths agape, eyes widened and asking over and over again, “what is this?!”

We enjoyed a few meals out as well but the food we ate in our home and the experience that surrounded it was my favorite.

Casa Oaxaca – My favorite margarita came from this place. I will forever be chasing their recipe for a passion fruit margarita. The rooftop at this restaurant is not to be missed, even with the occasional rain drops. It saddles up next to the church and the birds chirping in the nearby trees provide a lovely soundtrack to the meal. 

We were greeted with a large, crisp blue corn tortilla topped with queso fresco and a tableside preparation of salsa seasoned with crickets (chapulines).

Don’t miss the guava and tomatillo salad, duck tacos, and black mole.

Criollo – Incredible setting but the food didn’t live up to our expectations. 

For next time we’ll try: El Distilado for sure, and perhaps Pitiona and El Origen. They all came highly recommended. 


Monte Alban – one of the most significant archeological sights in Latin America.  The site of a Zapotec city whose building began in the 8th century BC. 

El Tule – The world’s WIDEST tree. A great pit stop on your way out to the weaving village. 

Teotitlan del Valle – In a family owned weaving studio we watched the process from wool to weaving including the fascinating process of creating the natural dyes for the wool. Our guide took Deborah’s hand, the painter of our group, and showed all the ways they bring color to life using completely natural and local ingredients. Red from the bug that lives on the leaves of the agave then when lime juice is added it instantly becomes more vibrant. Yellow from dried and crushed marigold leaves. Indigo from a native plant and that mixed with marigold petals creates a luscious green. 

From raw wool that is hand combed then spun then hand dipped with these natural dyes, then hand untangled (!!!) and weaved using patterns deeply engrained in their minds. The experience was somehow spiritual. I walked away with a stunning set of weaved coasters made by a 7 year old. This stunning tradition is alive and thriving in Oaxaca and although you can purchase weavings in the city it’s worth the 45 minute drive out of town to experience the process first hand.

Hire a driver or grab a yellow taxi to drive you.

Ethnobotanical Gardens  – Great views from Santo Domingo but if you want to go in you’ll need to book a tour.

Mezcal Tasting  at El Cortijo Mezcaleria. Don’t just stop at one mezcal tasting. Similar to wine there are thousands of varities and many ways of thinking around mexcal. We also visited the Mezcaloteca and while we didn’t love the mezcals the education was invaluable. 

Santo Domingo de Guzman – Ornate baroque cathedral on the Zocolo – or main center square of the city.

Mercado 20 de Noviembre – Here you are completely surrounded by locals and the energy is infectious. Many stalls and small counter restaurants, serving all kinds of local foods, elbow to elbow with Oaxacans.  Also bakeries and mezcal.

Mercato Benito Juarez – wonderful shopping for every kind of local artisanal product, from textiles, to shoes, to mezcal, to grasshoppers to snack on. The markets in Oaxaca are not to be missed and this central location and rows and rows of vibrant stalls makes it a must visit.

Our three days in Oaxaca were packed full but of course we left with a longer list of places to visit then we got started. A week is definitely recommended but no matter the length of the stay the impression of this city that is full of heart, warmth, and life will stay with you for a lifetime.

I can not wait to continue to see how this experience will unfold in my life and even in the recipes that I share here.

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