We eat a lot of chicken thighs in this house, so I am forever plotting up new ways to cook them. This Moroccan Chicken is officially going into the regular rotation.
One Skillet Moroccan Chicken
This type of dish is traditionally cooked in a tagine (and the dish itself is also called a tagine). If you have one of those, by all means use it! I personally don’t, and am guessing many of my readers don’t either.
The alternative is using a high sided large skillet with a lid. If you don’t have one of those, you can use a dutch oven.
In case you’re wondering, I love this chicken with a glass of Clean Crafted Rosé.
There’s lots of flavor in this one skillet chicken recipe, especially if you marinate if overnight. I didn’t, because I needed to make and photograph the dish, and it was still really great. But I recommend you do.
This chicken will still be tasty without the preserved lemons, but I don’t want you to skip them. They add an undeniable umami-packed citrusy salty punch that you really can’t get from anything else. They’re easy to make, and available in Middle Eastern markets, and probably any market that has a good specialty section. (Whole Foods has them.)
Pro tip: the best way to mince garlic is with a microplane. If you don’t have a microplane, I want you to treat yo self and get one. You’ll use it all the time. For garlic, for ginger (peel it and store it in the freezer!). For hard cheeses, for zesting citrus…
Aren’t one skillet recipes the best? Here are some more:
- Gingery Chicken with Shiitakes & Cabbage
- Puttanesca Poached Cod
- Chile Basil Pork
- Pasta with Shrimp, Peas & Pancetta
One skillet, lots of flavor.
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (use a microplane if you have one)
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 large or 8 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Or one chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 small or 2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup olives, pitted and halved*
- rind of one preserved lemon, sliced into thin strips
- handful parsley, chopped
- In a dish large enough to fit the chicken, mix together the minced garlic, lemon zest, sea salt, paprika, cumin, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
- Add the chicken to the dish and rub all over with the spice paste.
- Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
- When ready to cook, Heat a large high sided skillet that has a tight fitting lid over medium heat, and add the 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin side down and cook until it is golden brown – do not mess with it! If it sticks, it’s not ready. As the chicken skin browns, remove it to the dish it was marinating in.
- Once all the chicken is browned and removed to the dish, add the onions and carrots to the skillet. Cook until the onions are browned and softened, about 6-8 minutes. If the browned bits on the bottom of the pan start to get too dark, add a bit of chicken broth to keep them from burning.
- Stir in the lemon juice and chicken broth. Nestle in the chicken thighs, skin side up. Scatter over the olives and preserved lemon.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through to 165ºF
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
*If you have olives with pits, here’s how to remove them: Place the olive on the counter and press firmly with the heel of your hand. The pit will smoosh out and the olive will be easy to tear in half. Don’t worry about them being too uniform, rustic is good.
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