Spanish-style chicken casserole with preserved lemons

Spanish-style chicken casserole with preserved lemons

Preserved lemons, a condiment common in North African cuisine, are traditionally used to add intense lemony tartness to tagines and vegetable dishes. Somewhat difficult to come by in South Africa, preserved lemons are a lovely addition to your kitchen. Sliced lemons are pickled in salt, resulting in a sunny, intensely lemony flavour. To use, rinse the lemons to remove excess salt and chop. Available at

Spanish-style chicken casserole with preserved lemons

Serves: 4 - 6
Total Time: 40 mins


  • 30m (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 12 chicken pieces, skin on
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) smoked Spanish
  • paprika + extra, to dust
  • small handful fresh thyme leaves
  • 225g chorizo, peeled and chopped
  • 60ml (¼ cup) white wine
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 2 handfuls Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) preserved lemons, rinsed and chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh basil leaves, to garnish



Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish over high heat. In batches, brown the chicken pieces, skin side down first, until golden brown. Remove the chicken pieces, turn the heat to low and fry the garlic, onion, paprika and thyme until the onion is soft, 10 minutes.


Turn the heat to medium, add the chorizo and fry until crispy. Add the wine and simmer until it has almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock, return the chicken to the pot and simmer until the chicken has just cooked through, 20 minutes.


Stir the chickpeas, olives and preserved lemons into the casserole and season well, tasting to check.


Serve the casserole dusted with a little extra paprika and garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Send this to a friend