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Moroccan-Style Braised Lemon Chicken (Tangia)

4 Servings

1 hour 25 minutes active

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This simple chicken braise loaded with high-flavor ingredients is modeled on tangia, a slow-cooked lamb dish from Marrakech. We got a lesson in cooking tangia the traditional way from taxi driver Youssef Boufelja. For our simplified version, we used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which have a similar richness. In Morocco, preserved lemons lend the dish a gentle acidity, but we got similar flavor from lemon zest and juice—as well as chopped green olives for brininess—added at the end of cooking. Serve with warmed, halved pita bread for scooping up the tender meat and thickened sauce.




Don't reduce the lemon zest or juice. The zest provides both flavor and fragrance, and the juice adds tang and acidity. You'll need 3 to 4 lemons to get 3 tablespoons grated zest; a wand-style grater works best.

1 hour

25 minutes active


  • 5

    teaspoons ground cumin, divided

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Sue S.
October 9, 2023
substitutions Should Be Just That!
I agree with Jan: your continued assumption that readers will not have a specific ingredient is more than a little annoying, especially as preserved lemons (in this recipe) are readily available from a wide variety of sources online. If recipes offer a sub, please include the amount of the original item as well. I do like subs being included also.
Matthew C.
August 21, 2023
Excellent Dish
Great meal and very easy to make. We served it with brown basmati rice, which was a nice accompaniment. Spice mixture was very flavorful and the lemon and olives really made this dish pop. It will be going into our rotation.
Barbara T.
August 14, 2023
Go to recipe for guests
This is one of my favorite all time recipes. Very easy and doesn't need to be watched closely. I have served to guests many times and always received good feedback.
Jan W.
August 10, 2023
But I do have preserved lemons!
I’ve noticed in a lot of recipes, you do substitutions because you assume that your readers don’t have the “original“ item. In the recipe before this one that I read, you assumed that nobody had achiote paste and that’s pretty easy to come by. Anyway, sometimes it would be nice if you would give an either or ingredient amount, i.e., X amount of preserved lemon if you have it; Z amount of lemon juice and zest if you don’t. Just a thought, because I suspect that a lot of your readers are more adventuresome and/or more experienced than you think.
Drew R.
August 8, 2023
Nice summer dish
I made the recipe as listed. Had a very bright flavor profile and the lemon was prevalent but not overwhelming. The olives added a nice flavor too. I also served with basmati rice and warm pita bread. Glad I added the rice as lots of yummy sauce to absorb into it. Would definitely make again.