Chicken Tagine with Tomatoes, Preserved Lemons & Walnut Chermoula


Exotic spices marry with bell peppers and preserved lemons to give chicken breasts an exhilarating flavor boost. Serve with a rich and spicy walnut chermoula for an unforgettable meal.

Total Time
45 Mins

Total Time

Prep Time
25 Mins
Cook Time
20 Mins
Total Time
45 Mins


430 cal
Total Fat
26 g
Trans Fat
0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
8 g
100 mg
560 mg
15 g
Dietary Fiber
5 g
40 g



  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, flat leaf, fresh, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper, freshly ground
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, roasted and chopped

chicken breasts

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts, skin and bone removed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, ground
  • Large pinch red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves and stems, fresh, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups tomatoes, canned, diced
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½lemons, preserved, pulp removed, peel thinly sliced

quick preserved lemons

  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 lemons, quartered

preserved lemons

  • 8 lemons, thick-skinned, washed
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed, as needed



walnut chermoula

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree the cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, garlic, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper until smooth. Stir in the walnuts and set aside.


  1. Cut the chicken in half diagonally.In a small bowl, mix together 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, olive oil, cilantro and garlic. Rub the chicken with the mixture. Let sit in the refrigerator covered for 1 hour.
  2. Combine the tomatoes with ½ teaspoons salt. Place half of the tomatoes, half of the bell pepper and half of the preserved lemons on the bottom of a tagine or heavy stewing pot. Place the chicken on top. Top with the bell peppers, then preserved lemons and tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to the heat to medium low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
  3. To serve, spoon the chicken, vegetables and sauce into soup bowls and place a spoonful of the Walnut Chermoula onto the top.

Quick Preserved Lemons

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Boil until lemon rinds are tender, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature in the salt brine, then drain and use.

Preserved Lemons

  1. Cut each lemon into quarters from the top to within 1/2″ of the bottom, taking care to leave the four pieces joined at the stem end. Sprinkle the insides of the lemon with salt.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of a 1 quart canning jar and pack the lemons into the jar, pushing them down while adding additional salt and the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves between the lemons. If the level of lemon juice doesn’t come to the top of the jar, add extra freshly squeezed juice to almost the top of the jar. Leave some airspace before closing the jar.
  3. Let the lemons sit in a warm place for 1 month, turning the jar upside-down periodically to distribute the salt and juices.
  4. To use the lemons, remove from the brine and discard the pulp. Wash the peel and use. Some white crystals will form on the top of the lemons in the jar, which is normal, so do not discard the lemons. They can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated and will keep for 1 year.