Ever want something out of the ordinary? Me too. For me that would be something like Moroccan chicken. I love this type of cooking and I don’t make it often enough. It certainly deserves to be in everyone’s recipe rotation list. (Don’t have one of those? It’s perfect for those nights you can’t think of anything to cook.)
I won’t lie and tell you that this isn’t complicated to make because it is. There’s a lot of things that go into this recipe but none of it is difficult. It just takes the time to measure out all the spices, toast the almonds, cut the preserved lemon, coat the chicken — but it’s oh so worth it when you put the first forkful in your mouth. It’s mildly spicy, a bit lemony, a bit tart, a bit sweet and very very tasty.
Once you’ve got all the recipe ingredients ready, the actual cooking is fairly fast. Cut up chicken pieces don’t take long to cook and if you cook them too long you’ve got tough chicken, so let’s go.
Measure the spices into a bowl and then toss in the cut chicken pieces to coat and then let them sit for 2 to 6 hours before cooking. You could prepare the chicken before work in the morning and then it’s ready to cook when you get home.
You can use a tagine to cook this in but I prefer my saute pan because I like my chicken browned. Once you have cooked the onions and the garlic slices, you add the chicken and brown it and then add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 20 minutes.
As you can see there are a lot of preserved lemons. The recipe I was getting my inspiration from recommended a whole lemon. I wouldn’t use that much again. Just a hint of lemon would be better I think. When finished it looks like this!
Here’s the recipe!
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon tumeric
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1½ lbs boneless chicken meat - thighs are great in this recipe
- Salt to taste (lemons will be salty so go lightly)
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 1 onion, chopped
- The peel from ½ preserved lemon, rinsed in cold water, pulp discarded, peel cut into thin strips
- 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup raisins or sultanas
- ¼ cup dates chopped
- ¼ cup dried apricots chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro / coriander
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup almonds sliced and toasted (350 F for 4 minutes)
- Combine all the spices in a large bowl. Pat dry the chicken pieces and put in the bowl, coat well with the spice mixture. Let the chicken stand for 2 to 6 hours in the spices.
- In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces, sprinkle very lightly with salt and brown for only five minutes.
- Remove the chicken and cover.
- Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and onions and cook til translucent about 5 minutes.
- Return chicken to pan, and add lemon slices, olives, raisins, dates and apricots.
- Add chicken stock
- Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender. (depends upon whether you're using chicken with bone in)
- Mix in fresh parsley and cilantro right before turning off the heat.
- Serve with couscous or rice and top with toasted almonds just before serving
- Serve with couscous, rice, or rice pilaf.
I see what you mean that this is a dish that takes quite a few special steps. Bit none of them are difficult and this is the kind of cooking that can be so much fun. Besides I am sure it tastes wonderful. GREG
Maris(In Good Taste) says
Lots of steps but looks so worth it!
Martyna (Wholesome Cook) says
Yum! I accidentally got another box of cous cous the other day – this dish sounds great to accompany what now is a stockpile of cous cous in my house!
Baker Street says
Just one question, why is my printer out of ink? Why? OK, that was two, but they were both rhetorical. This looks wonderful. I love all the spices and it would be quite different than our standard go to chicken recipes.
Sawsan@chef in disguise says
I love chicken and never get tired of trying new recipes..this looks heavenly and I will try it soon
This looks delicious. It reminds me of a French Morrocan dish that took several hours and steps to prepare but no step too difficult. Great post!
How funny that I just posted a Skinny Moroccan Chicken Stew today. Your recipe sounds delicious!
This reminds me of my favorite chicken as a child, the recipe which my mother lost so I haven’t had it in a loooong time. My mouth is watering to try this! I don’t have preserved lemon–what could I use instead? Regular sliced lemon? Lemon juice?
Nelly Rodriguez says
Looks well worth it for sure! Not a huge fan of preserved lemons, would love to see if I could preserve my own and love them? Love the recipe dear!
Junia @ Mis Pensamientos says
wow, this recipe looks sooo full of flavor! i’m sure its marinated well and absolutely mouthwatering!
Nancy, great minds think alike 🙂
Nelly, I made my own preserved lemons and like you, I don’t like them overpowering the dish. The recipe called for 1 lemon but I would use 1/2 a lemon next time so that’s why I reduced it in the recipe here.
Veronica, I’ve got a post about how I made my preserved lemons. It takes only minutes and costs heaps less than buying them.
Greg, I can’t believe your “standard go to chicken recipes” would be anything less than fantastic. I’ve seen your food!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Oh it is so Moroccan chicken weather isn’t it nowadays! 🙂 I must get out my tagine and try this!
OMG, that looks delicious! I’ll have to try it!
Mikaela Cowles says
The looks like complicated is a good way to go!
In Katrinas Kitchen says
This looks like a very flavorful dish! I’m loving your tempting pictures of it too!
Kitchen Belleicious says
this is one of my favorite favorite chicken dishes ever! Yours looks fantastic and is going in my recipe box right now! Love the flavor combo’s and the pics are great!
I am glad you made a culinary trip to Morocco:) I love the food, the spices, the mingling of different textures. For me, any day is a prefect day for Moroccan dish:)
I preserve my own lemons, but I did too much – a jar will go a loooong way, and I don’t have anyone to gift them to:)
Wow I can’t wait to try this….Thanks for posting.
Mrs. Mix It says
OMG my mouth is wattering and this looks delicious!!!
I love chicken and this is really good.. I will try this one.. this food is new to me.. weee thanks for the wonderful recipe..
Forget beef tonight. Its all about the Moroccan chicken. Looks really delicious my mouth is salivating.
Sasha @ The Procrastobaker says
This looks DELICIOUS and oh so flavoursome! I have been looking for a good moroccan dish for yonks, and this fits the bill perfectly!! I love moroccan flavours but have never completely successfully recreated them at home…yet… 🙂
Sasha @ The Procrastobaker says
Told you I would make it! :):) This was gorgeous and thank you so much for bringing it to my attention! I made a few changes and scaled it down but for the most part followed your lovely recipe
Thank you! 🙂
Surati Ivey says
After reading the reviews, I saw that many people are very inspired to make this dish.
But nobody at all actually did make it.
Can I get some reviews based on your experience in making it ?
Sorry, Surati, I made the dish and posted it. I don’t require anyone to leave their experiences but I would publish them if I got them.
Delicious! Made a couple personal tweaks to it but really enjoyed the recipe. Worked great in my Instapot! Thank you for sharing it.