Olives and Chicken Tagine

Tagine Zeytoun is an essential Algerian recipe

Tagine Zeytoun is an essential Algerian recipe

I grew up eating olive tagines at least twice a month. We would buy fresh vol-au-vent from the neighborhood bakery and ladle juicy green olives and flavorful chicken all over them. The burst of salt in every olive also goes really well with Algerian potato croquettes (sfiriyya). The olives are the highlight of this dish, the chicken almost an afterthought. Chicken thighs work well in this dish, with skin or skinless.

Olive bar where you get the best olives for the Olives and Chicken Tagine

Salty Olives

preserved olives can be salty. Choose olives from the olive bar where the water is changed often and the level of saltiness is not overbearing.

The Base

In the traditional Olive Tagine mirepoix is not used as a base for the sauce. However, since a good amount of sauce is needed, we like having a thicker sauce with layers of flavor. We use mirepoix and chicken stock to build up the flavors in our recipe.

Olive and Chicken Tagine

Serve Tagine Zeytoon with vol-au-vent, potato croquettes or fried potatoes. The sauce of the tagine will tie the olives, the chicken and the carbohydrates together. Be generous in ladling it over your chosen carbohydrate.

  • by The Lore | May 2019*
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Inactive time: 0 minutes
  • Total time: 60 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt and more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Ras El Hanout
  • 4 chicken thighs *
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped *
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped *
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock, plus more if needed *
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced *
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped *
  • 20 ounces pitted green olives, preferably castelvetrano


  1. In a small bowl mix the marinade components: 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, black pepper, and Ras El Hanout.
  2. Rub the marinade onto the chicken, set aside.
  3. Set a tagine or dutch oven medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until shimmering.
  4. Saute the onions, carrots and celery until slightly brown. 10 minutes.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of the chicken stock and scrape any fond. Add more stock one tablespoon at a time if needed.
  6. Add the garlic and parsley and saute until golden brown.
  7. Add the Chicken, do not turn it until it browns on one side, about 15 minutes.
  8. Turn the chicken around and add the remaining chicken stock. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  9. Add the olives, bring the mixture simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the heat and serve warm.


  1. If you end up using preserved olives (from a jar), taste them to determine their saltiness. For very salty olives you can either boil them in water for 15 minutes (can create slight bitterness in the olives). Or soak them in water overnight with periodic water changing - as much as once every hour or as little as three times in a twelve hour period.
  2. You can find the vol-au-vent recipe here.
  3. In Algerian the olives and chicken tagine is also served with sfiriyya or potato and cheese croquettes. You can find the recipe for sfiriyya here.

Denotes items that we prefer to be organic. Read more about it here: Items to buy organic when grocery shopping.