Moroccan Chicken

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Preserved Lemons:

2 large lemons, scrubbed and dried, plus 3/4 cup lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)

2 tablespoons coarse sea salt 

2 small dried chiles 

2 fresh rosemary sprigs

Moroccan Chicken:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon paprika 

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 skin-on chicken breasts

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed

1/2 teaspoon chile flakes

1 medium onion, chopped 

1 cinnamon stick 

1 cup white wine 

1 cup chicken stock 

1/2 cup green olives 

1/4 cup golden raisins 

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped 

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Couscous or rice, for serving


  1. For the preserved lemons: Slice the lemons 1/4 inch thick and set aside.
  2. Add the lemon juice, sea salt and 1/4 cup water to a saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the salt. Add the lemon slices, chiles and 1 of the rosemary sprigs and boil for 1 minute. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the lemon rind is translucent, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Transfer the lemon slices to an airtight jar. Remove the chiles and rosemary from the pot and discard. Pour the liquid from the pot over the lemon slices just to cover. Add the remaining rosemary sprig. Cover tightly and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
  4. For the Moroccan chicken: Add the flour, paprika, coriander, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin, 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to a resealable bag. Shake the bag to mix all the spices. Place the chicken breasts in the bag, seal tightly and shake the bag to coat the chicken evenly. Pull out the chicken and shake off any excess flour.
  5. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and let it heat up, about 1 minute. Place the chicken in the pot skin-side down to sear and form a crust, 5 to 7 minutes. Add in the chile flakes. Flip the chicken and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  6. Add more oil to the hot Dutch oven if needed. Then, add the onions, cinnamon stick and remaining 1 teaspoon cumin and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and let it reduce slightly. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the olives, raisins and 3 to 4 preserved lemon slices with about 1 tablespoon of the preserved lemon juice. Return the chicken to the pot and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Add the parsley and cilantro. Serve with couscous or rice.

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