Marrakesh on a plate: Mediterranean chicken in the oven with olives and lemon

Mediterranean food
Marrakesh on a plate: Fragrant oven-roasted chicken, as cooked by the pioneer of Mediterranean cuisine

Olive chicken with olives and lemon

© DK Verlag/Susan Bell

When everything is gray to gray again outside, there is only one thing that helps – make sure you get the sun yourself. This Mediterranean dish transports you to Marrakech and banishes wanderlust.

Sometimes it just has to be a holiday dish. A dish with the taste of sun and sea that 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 traveled the world researching the DNA of Mediterranean dishes and internalizing them.

One of her signature recipes is oven-baked chicken with olives and lemon. In this she captures the flair of Marrakech with the scent 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 ground turmeric
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1½ spoons of honey
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 garlic bulb, chopped cloves
  • 16 chicken thighs
  • 120 g capers in brine, drained
  • 200 g of pitted green olives
  • 1 large boiled organic lemon (or 2 small), cut into wedges and pitted
  • 1 bunch cilantro (25 g), chopped 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 so they are well coated.

Place the chicken thighs in a large baking tray, place the sandwich with the capers, olives and poached lemon and pour over the marinade from the bowl.

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

Mediterranean cuisine by Claudia Roden

Claudia Roden is an award-winning cookbook author. “Mediterranean cuisine“It’s her last job.

© Dorling Kindersley Verlag


Place the frozen ends of the artichoke in a mold with olives and capers. You can get them at oriental grocery stores or online.

Boiled lemon

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

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Basic couscous recipe

Place 500 g of couscous in a large pan for 8 people. Dissolve ½–1 teaspoon of salt in 600ml of warm (half boiling, half cold) water and gradually pour over the couscous, stirring to coat evenly. Let it rise for 10 minutes, stirring a few times, then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and rub the grains between your hands to aerate and prevent lumps. Cover the container with aluminum foil and slide it under the pan with the chicken. Cook with the chicken for the last 10-15 minutes.

The recipe is from the new cookbook “Mediterranean Kitchen” by Claudia Roden, published by Dorling Kindersley Verlag, 320 pages, 29.95 euros.

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