This right here is the BEST Moroccan Chicken recipe you will find! Super succulent, fall-off-the-bone tender chicken stew w/ warm Moroccan spices, lemons, olives & dried fruit. No ordinary chicken dinner, this easy one-pot wonder will surprise your taste buds in the best way possible. Be sure to watch the video and grab all my tips below!
If you're anything like me, chicken makes your dinner rotation fairly regularly. It's readily available and relatively cheap, plus, who doesn't like a comforting chicken dinner? But this is no ordinary chicken dinner. This Moroccan chicken recipe takes things to a new level of deliciousness.
Let me explain what you're looking at here. Moroccan chicken is essentially stewed or braised chicken with deep, lovely flavors from a special Moroccan spice rub (which I tell you all about in a second), along with aromatics, fresh lemons (or preserved lemons, if you have some), and green olives. And as Moroccans are known to do, we add in some dried fruits to balance things out. I chose a mixture of raisins and dried apricots.
Some may call this chicken tagine, but your really don't need a special tagine pot to arrive at an authentic taste using just a heavy-based casserole pan or braiser. This is easy to make and the result is fall-off-the-bone tender, super succulent chicken boasting unique warm flavors that will have you returning for more!
Spice Rub for Moroccan Chicken
The flavoring process begins with a special spice rub with cinnamon, sweet paprika, ginger, and Ras El Hanout (or Raz El Hanout), which is really the star spice here. If you're not familiar, Ras El Hanout (or Raz El Hanout) is a complex aromatic North African spice blend, mostly associated with Moroccan cuisine. Our all-natural Ras El Hanout is pungent, combining warm flavors like turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, ginger, mace, nutmeg, and a touch of cayenne. (Find Ras El Hanout Here)
How to Make This Moroccan Chicken Recipe
1. First, pat the chicken dry. Season lightly with salt (remember, you will be adding olives later, so easy on the salt.) Then apply the spice rub all over the chicken. Leave it at room temperature for 40-45 minutes to marinate. If you have the time, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
2. Heat a bit of quality EVOO over medium high heat until shimmering but not smoking, then brown the chicken well on both sides. If you left skin on, begin with browning the skin side first, then turn over. (Word to the wise, utilize something like this mesh splatter screen.)
3. Lower heat and add onions, garlic and cilantro. Let those sweat some, then add the lemons, olives, dried fruit. Finally add the liquid. Cover and let cook for 30 to 45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked through and registers and internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.
For garnish, I like to add more fresh cilantro and toasted almonds.
What to Serve Along?
I often serve this Moroccan chicken tagine with plain couscous (super easy to make following the package instructions). You can try your favorite grain or Lebanese rice instead, if you like. And to start the meal, simply serve a fresh Mediterranean salad.
A few Tips
1. You can use boneless and skinless chicken to make this recipe. Be sure to adjust your cooking time down accordingly; boneless chicken will cook more quickly. I prefer to use boneless thighs here than boneless chicken breasts, but both will work. Depending on how many pieces you use, you may not use the entire spice rub amount.
2. If you have the time, refrigerate the spiced chicken for 2 hours or overnight, if you're looking for more pronounced flavor.
3. Store leftovers in tight-lid glass containers in the fridge. It should keep well for up to 3 days. Flavors will continue to settle and deepen. To reheat, you may add a little liquid and warm stove-top over medium heat.
Watch Video Tutorial for this Moroccan Chicken Recipe:
BEST Moroccan Chicken recipe you will find! Super succulent, fall-off-the-bone tender chicken stew w/ warm Moroccan spices, lemons, olives & dried fruit. Be sure to check out the step-by-step tutorial up in the post.
For Spice Rub
- 1 ½ tablespoon all-natural Ras El Hanout
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ to 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 ½ lb/1587.57 g whole chicken cut into bone-in pieces (or 7 to 8 pieces of chicken with bone in. Leave skin on or remove it, up to you.)
- Kosher salt
- Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow on ion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 oz/28.3 g chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced (or 1 preserved lemon, cut up into small pieces)
- ¾ cup/ 58.5 g pitted green olives
- ¼ cup/37 g raisins (any kind)
- ¼ cup/ 47 g chopped dry apricots
- 3 tablespoon/49.14 g tomato paste
- 1 ½ cup 352.5 ml low-sodium chicken broth
- Toasted slivered almonds, to your liking, optional
- In a small bowl, combine Ras El Hanout and the remaining spices to make the rub.
- Pat chicken pieces dry and season lightly with kosher salt on both sides. Now, rub the chicken all over with the spice rub (if you kept the skins, make sure to apply the spice rub underneath the skins for best flavor.) Set aside in room temperature for 40 to 45 minutes or so (or, if you have the time, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. If you do this, take chicken out of fridge and let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes before cooking.)
- In a 12" deep ceramic pan or braiser like this one, heat 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add chicken (skin side down, if you kept skin) and brown for 5 minutes. Turn over and brown on the other side for another 3 minutes or so.
- Lower heat to medium-low and add onions, garlic, and cilantro. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, then add lemon slices, olives, raisins, and dried apricots.
- In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste and chicken broth. Pour mixture on top of the chicken as it cooks.
- Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, then, keeping heat on medium-low, cover and cook for 30-45 minutes until chicken is tender and cooked through registering an internal temperature of 165 degrees F or higher.
- Garnish with more fresh cilantro and toasted almonds, if you like. Serve over plain couscous.
- Cook's Tip: Allow at least 45 mins of inactive time for the chicken to marinate in the spice rub.
- Cook's Tip: If you do have the time, spice the chicken ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight for more pronounced flavor. And if possible, bring chicken close to room temperature before cooking.
- Cook's Tip: You can use boneless, skinless chicken pieces. Remember to adjust your cooking time down as it will be quicker to cook. Depending on how many pieces of chicken, you may not use the entire spice rub amount.
- Leftover Storage Tip: This Moroccan chicken is even better the next day. Refrigerate leftovers in tight-lid glass containers; it should keep well for 3 days or so. Simply heat stove-top over medium heat. Make sure to add a little more liquid as needed (broth or water).
- Recommended for this Recipe: all-natural Ras El Hanout North African (Moroccan) spice blend; sweet paprika. And from our Greek olive oil collection, Private Reserve.
- SAVE! Create your own 6-pack from our all-natural or organic spice collections. Try our Greek EVOO Bundle.
- Nutrition information assumes no skin. Nutrition information also assumes 4 servings, although this can easily serve 6.
- Category: Entree
- Method: Braising
- Cuisine: Moroccan
Keywords: Moroccan Chicken, Moroccan Chicken Stew, Chicken Tagine