For Spice Rub
- 1 ½ tbsp all-natural Ras El Hanout
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ to 1 tsp 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 tbsp/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 tbsp 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.
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads, pulverized
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 chicken, cut in 8 to 10 pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium onions, sliced thin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 calamata olives, pitted and halved
- 8 cracked green olives, pitted and halved
- 1 large or 3 small preserved lemons (sold in specialty food shops)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Mix garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric together. If not using kosher chicken, add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add pepper to taste. Rub chicken with mixture, cover, refrigerate and marinate 3 to 4 hours.
- Heat oil in heavy skillet. Add chicken, and brown on all sides. Remove to platter. Add onions to skillet, and cook over medium-low heat about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to tagine, if you are using one, or leave in skillet. Add cinnamon stick.
- Put chicken on onions. Scatter with olives. Quarter the lemons, remove pulp and cut skin in strips. Scatter over chicken. Mix stock and lemon juice. Pour over chicken.
- Cover tagine or skillet. Place over low heat, and cook about 30 minutes, until chicken is done. Scatter parsley on top, and serve.
To begin, combine the spices in small bowl.
Mix well and set aside.
Zest the lemon. Combine 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest with 1 minced garlic clove; set aside.
Season both sides of chicken pieces with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke. Brown the chicken pieces skin side down in single layer until deep golden, about 5 minutes.
Using tongs, flip the chicken pieces over and brown the other side, about 4 minutes more.
Transfer the chicken to a large plate; when cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and discard.
Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until they have browned at the edges but still retain their shape, 5 to 7 minutes (add a few tablespoons of water if the pan gets too dark).
Add the remaining minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spices and flour.
Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the broth, honey, remaining lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.
Add the chicken (with any accumulated juices) back in, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Scatter the carrots around the chicken, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes more.
Add the olives, garlic-zest mixture, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.
Stir to combine and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
Serve with couscous.
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 lemon
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 4 pounds), trimmed of excess skin and fat (see note)
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and cut into 1/4-in-thick slices
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-3/4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 large or 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick coins
- 1/2 cup Greek cracked green olives, pitted and halved (see note)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Steps to Make It
Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Moroccan chicken dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Marinate the Chicken
- Gather the ingredients.
- Remove the flesh from the preserved lemons and chop the flesh finely. Reserve rind for cooking.
- Add the lemon flesh to a bowl along with the chicken, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, ginger, pepper, turmeric, and salt. If using, add the saffron, ras el hanout, and smen. Mix well.
- If time allows, let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Cook in either a tagine or in the oven. (See below for more information on both methods.)
Cooking in a Tagine
- Add enough of the olive oil to the tagine to coat the bottom.
- Arrange the marinated chicken in the tagine, flesh-side down, and distribute the onions all around.
- Add the olives and reserved rind of the preserved lemons, and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken.
- Add the water to the tagine, cover, and place on a heat diffuser over medium-low heat. Give the tagine time to reach a simmer without peaking. If you don’t hear the tagine simmering within 20 minutes, slightly increase the heat, and then use the lowest heat setting required for maintaining a gentle—not rapid—simmer.
- Allow the chicken to cook undisturbed for 80 to 90 minutes, and then turn the chicken over so it’s flesh-side up. Cover the tagine again, and allow the chicken to finish cooking until very tender (about 45 minutes to 1 hour).
- Turn off the heat, and let the tagine cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy.
Cooking in the Oven
- Preheat oven to 425 F/220 C. Add enough of the olive oil to a large baking dish so it coats the bottom.
- Add the sliced onions and garlic from the marinade.
- Then place the marinated chicken on top.
- Add the olives and reserved rind of the preserved lemons on top and drizzle the chicken with the remaining olive oil.
- Bake the chicken uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is light golden brown, basting occasionally.
- Reduce the heat to 350 F/180 C and continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes or longer. The chicken should be deeply browned and the juices should run clear.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy.
- For either method, you can cut a whole chicken into either halves or individual pieces prior to marinating. The pieces may fit better in a tagine; the halves are easier to handle in the oven and can be cut after cooking.
- You’ll get more flavor if you start marinating the chicken with the Moroccan spices the night before.
- The cooking times may vary depending on the size of your chicken. In the tagine, 2 1/2 hours allows the tagine to be brought to a slow simmer so it doesn’t dry out.
- Check that the internal temperature of the chicken is between 165 and 175 F.
- 1 to 2 preserved lemons, quartered and seeds removed
- 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, skin removed, back discarded or reserved for another use
- 2 large white or yellow onions, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 small handful fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (or 1/4 teaspoon Moroccan yellow colorant)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled, optional
- 1 teaspoon smen, optional
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ras el hanout, optional
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 handfuls pitted olives (green or red, or mixed)
- 1/4 cup water, approximately, if using a tagine