Marrakech on a plate: Mediterranean-style chicken with olives and lemon

Mediterranean cuisine
Marrakesh on a plate: aromatic baked chicken, as prepared by a pioneer of Mediterranean cuisine

Olive chicken with olives and lemon

© DK Verlag/Susan Bell

When everything is gray outside again, only one thing helps – take care of the sun yourself. This Mediterranean dish transports you to Marrakech and banishes the urge to travel.

Sometimes it’s just a vacation plate. A dish with the taste of the sun and the sea, which warms you from the inside. Claudia Roden is an expert when it comes to bringing the flavors of the Mediterranean to your plate. For decades, she has traveled the world exploring and studying the DNA of Mediterranean cuisine.

One of her feel-good recipes is oven-roasted chicken with olives and lemon. In this, she captures the aroma of Marrakesh with aromas of garlic, turmeric and ginger. A dish that does not require many ingredients and is very easy to prepare.

Mediterranean baked chicken (8 people)

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons of ground turmeric
  • 1½ teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1½ tablespoons of honey
  • 250 ml of dry white wine
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 head of garlic, chop the cloves
  • 16 chicken thighs
  • 120 g of capers in brine, drain
  • 200 g of pitted green olives
  • 1 large (or 2 small) cooked organic lemons, sliced ​​and pitted
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (25 g), chop the leaves

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C for a fan oven.

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric, ginger, honey, wine, salt, and pepper. Add the garlic and toss the chicken pieces in the mixture to coat well.

Place the chicken thighs on a large baking sheet, cover with capers, olives and boiled lemon and pour over the marinade from the bowl.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until chicken is well browned and cooked through. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.

Mediterranean cuisine from Claudia Roden

Claudia Roden is an award-winning cookbook author. “Mediterranean cuisine” is her last work.

© Dorling Kindersley Verlag


Place the frozen bottoms of the artichokes in the pan with the olives and capers. You can buy them in oriental food stores or on the Internet.

Boiled lemons

Place whole organic lemons in a pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the lemons that is smaller than the pan so the lemons are submerged. Cook for about 30 minutes until they are very soft and tender. If not using immediately, drain and let cool. Pour whole into a screw-top jar and drizzle with olive or sunflower oil. They keep in the fridge for several weeks. They can be cut into pieces or used in puree.

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Basic couscous recipe

Place 500g couscous in a large 8-serving casserole. Dissolve ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt in 600ml of warm water (half boiling, half cold) and gradually pour over the couscous, stirring to coat evenly. Leave to swell for 10 minutes, stir a few times, then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and rub the grains between your hands to air them out and prevent them from sticking together. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and slide it under the baking sheet with the chicken. Cook together with the chicken for the last 10-15 minutes.

Recipe from the new cookbook Mediterranean Cuisine by Claudia Roden, published by Dorling Kindersley Verlag, 320 pages, €29.95.

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