This Moroccan chicken is a one pot meal with chicken thighs, green olives, raisins and spices, all simmered together until tender. A unique and unexpected dinner option that’s full of bold flavors.
I sometimes find myself with a package of chicken thighs in the fridge and no plans for dinner, which is when I turn to Moroccan chicken. This dish uses ingredients that I almost always have on hand, and it’s always a big hit with both kids and adults alike.
How do you make Moroccan chicken?
This recipe starts with chicken thighs, which are seared in a skillet until golden brown. Add onions to the pan to cook, along with a savory spice blend and a little flour to thicken the sauce. The next step is to pour in some chicken broth and add a handful of raisins. The chicken mixture is covered and baked in the oven until the chicken is tender. Stir in some olives, add a sprinkle of cilantro, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect chicken
- The spice blend can be made up to a month before you plan to use it. I typically make a double or triple batch, and sprinkle the extra spice over potatoes, vegetables and grilled meats.
- This dish can easily be adapted to cook in the crockpot. Follow the recipe through step 6, then transfer everything over to your slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. Stir in the olives, lemon juice and cilantro, then serve.
- Moroccan chicken stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and can be frozen for up to 2 months. Store the chicken in an airtight container in the freezer, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop, then serve.
Moroccan spice blend
This recipe calls for a spice blend that produces just the right level of savory flavors, along with a bit of warmth from sweeter spices such as cinnamon. The spice mix is a combination of cumin, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, coriander and turmeric. You can also add other spices into the mix such as allspice, garlic powder, smoked paprika or onion powder.
Moroccan chicken variations
While I typically make this recipe as written, you can easily add other ingredients to the dish to customize it to your tastes.
- Protein: Instead of chicken thighs, try chicken breasts or chicken drumsticks.
- Vegetables: You can add other vegetables to the mix such as carrots, small halved Yukon Gold potatoes or sweet potatoes.
- Beans: Stir in a can of drained chickpeas before you place your pan in the oven.
- Fruit: Instead of raisins try diced dried apricots, or use a combination of the two.
This dish is perfect served over couscous with a vegetable on the side. It’s easy enough for a busy weeknight, but impressive enough to serve to company!
More chicken recipes you’ll enjoy
- Mexican Chicken Soup
- Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells
- Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken
- Honey Mustard Chicken
Moroccan Chicken Video
For the spice blend
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
For the chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 onion halved and sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
For the spice blend
- Add all the spices to a small bowl. Stir until combined.
For the chicken
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken skin side down in the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until browned.
- Remove the chicken from the pan. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the spice blend and flour to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the chicken back to the pan. Stir in the raisins.
- Cover the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is tender.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Uncover, then stir in the olives and lemon juice. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle the cilantro over the top, then serve.