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Healthy and Easy Moroccan Chicken…A One Pot Chicken Recipe

Flavorful and healthy are not always interchangeable. However, with my Moroccan Chicken recipe it most certainly is. The flavors of the Middle East come alive in this dish and transport you into a world of spice markets and magic carpet rides. Best of all it freezes like a dream and is all made in one pan!

Easy Moroccan Chicken - Photo 1 - Girl and the Kitchen

Sometimes, people misconstrue the terms healthy cooking or clean eating with “flavorless” or “lack luster.”  But it does not have to be.  And mine certainly never is.
It is a rare day in my house that we do not eat healthily.  Even our late night snacks (plate fulls of lean nitrate free turkey breast and tomato and cuke slices) tend to be quite delicious and healthy. Let’s be honest, it’s tough to stay healthy and eat clean if your food tastes like overly processed cardboard.  So I like to keep things spicy and exciting in our meal plans.

It’s also hard to stay healthy when you are a food blogger and all you do is test delicious recipes.  Healthy or not…the calories add up.  So my trick is to make sure that I input all my nibbles into MyFitnessPal app.  It keeps me sane and in check 🙂

Anyway…Big flavors and loads of spices make my meal plans exciting and easy.

Like this chicken.

Easy Moroccan Chicken - Photo 2 - Girl and the Kitchen

Initially my mother in law made this dish. (try and imagine this with the best Russian accent) “Heere Mila trrry this.  It iz new dish I saw on Russian televizion.  Verry oold recipe, but very seeemple and delicious. They call it Morooocon chicken.” I tasted it.  And smiled.  It’s my MIL…I am not upsetting her.  You wouldn’t either.

Easy Moroccan Chicken - Photo 3 - Girl and the Kitchen

I tasted sweetness and stringy chicken and that was it.  I so wanted to like it. But it was lackluster. My MIL is an amazing cook and an even better baker.  But this for some reason was not hitting the spot.  I am thinking it was just a cruddy recipe.  It was decent…but it lacked some…SPARKLE. And I…well my dear friends…I have lot’s of sparkles.

Moroccan style chicken

I decided to truly make this a Moroccan style chicken.  Concentrating on all the fragrant spices of the region. Moroccan food has a great deal of bright flavors and intoxicating spices.

I happen to love loads of spices.  I have made my Moroccan carrots along side this delicious chicken many a time and plates were always wiped clean!

Moroccan chicken - Photo 4 - Girl and the Kitchen

I also wanted this to be something that I can whip up on a weeknight when I did not have much time.  And it just so happens to be fall and some of these flavors are reminiscent of pumpkin pie spices.

There you have it folks…this is the CLOSEST I will come to making anything with pumpkin pie spice.  Sorry Starbucks I am not buying your pumpkin spice marketing ploy.

Moroccan chicken - Photo 5 - Girl and the Kitchen

After a few tries and adjusting the spices and the cooking times I ended up with a dish that I am proud to call Moroccan.  It has all the gorgeous colors and flavors to make our tummies rumble and our eyes gleam. Being the wonderful daughter in law that I am, I brought it over for my MIL to try and she was flattered that I based my recipe on hers (based being the operative word here.) She was instantly a fan.  And asked for the recipe…I told her to check the blog 🙂

NEWSFLASH:  THIS IS VERY FREEZER FRIENDLY!!! So freezer friendly that it is part of my Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur MAKE AHEAD meal plan!

Moroccan Chicken from the Girl and the Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees and oil up a medium sized casserole dish.  Feel free to use a foil pan for easier cleanup. We are going to start out with some chicken breast and boneless chicken thigh pieces cut up into large bite size pieces.

Place those pieces into a plastic ziplock (don’t mind me, I apparently did not mind doing dishes and used a bowl instead.).  Add your turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, minced ginger, minced garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice, balsamic vinegar and cilantro. Toss and combine and let stand for at least 15-20 minutes or even overnight.

Moroccan Chicken from the Girl and the Kitchen
Moroccan Chicken from the Girl and the Kitchen photo 7
Moroccan Chicken from the Girl and the Kitchen photo 8
Moroccan Chicken from the Girl and the Kitchen photo 9
Moroccan Chicken from the Girl and the Kitchen photo 10

In the meantime, slice up some dried prunes and apricots.  You do not need to get fancy.  Just slice them up so they are similar in size. Dice up an onion into medium dice.  In case you need a reminder, I have a nifty tutorial on how to do that here. Place about 1 tbsp of olive oil into a large pan and add in your onions.  Go ahead and let the get nice and sweaty for about 3 minutes. Now add in the sliced dried fruit, salt and pepper and a cup of water.  This is going to do two things.  1. it will hydrate the fruit so they get beautiful and plump.  And two it will make the sugars come out of the onions, allowing for an easier and faster caramalization.  (note: I will be doing I have done a demo on how to easily caramelize onions.) Allow this mixture to boil until all the water is boiled out and the mixture looks like this.

Now, add the chicken to this mixture.  Toss to combine, careful as the mixture is hot (you can of course cool the mixture, but I don’t have that sort of time). Place into the oven and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is tender.

***I was bringing this over for dinner to a friend’s house so I actually used a casserole.  But for easier clean-up use the sautee pan.  ***

Moroccan Chicken from the Girl and the Kitchen photo 11

Garnish with some extra cilantro.  I served this up with my favorite lemon infused couscous and it was a hit.

Lemon Infused Pearl Cous Cous from the Girl and the Kitchen

The best part is that it is super freezer friendly! 

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Healthy and Easy Moroccan Chicken…A One Pot Chicken Recipe


  • Author: Mila
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Moroccan Chicken

Ingredients

2 Pounds of Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs or Chicken Breast; Cut into Large Pieces
¾ Cup Dried Apricots, Roughly Sliced
¾ Cup Dried Prunes, Roughly Sliced
1 Spanish Onion, Diced
3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, Roughly Chopped
Juice of One Lime
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 One-Inch Piece of Ginger, Minced
1 Tablespoon Smokey Paprika
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
⅛ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1.5 Tablespoons Turmeric; The turmeric gives this dish its distinct yellow color
½ Teaspoon Sumac (optional)
½ Tablespoon Salt
1 Tsp Pepper
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees and oil up a medium sized casserole dish. Feel free to use a foil pan for easier cleanup.

We are going to start out with some chicken breast and boneless chicken thigh pieces cut up into large bite size pieces.

Place those pieces into your casserole pan (don’t mind me, I apparently did not mind doing dishes and used a bowl instead.). Add you turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, minced ginger, minced garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice, balsamic vinegar and cilantro.

Toss and combine and let stand for at least 15-20 minutes or even overnight.

In the meantime, slice up some dried prunes and apricots. You do not need to get fancy. Just slice them up so they are similar in size.

Dice up an onion into medium dice.

Place about 1 tbsp of olive oil into a large pan and add in your onions. Go ahead and let the get nice and sweaty for about 3 minutes.

Now add in the sliced dried fruit, salt and pepper and a cup of water. This is going to do two things. 1. it will hydrate the fruit so they get beautiful and plump. And two it will make the sugars come out of the onions, allowing for an easier and faster caramalization. (Check out my French Onion Soup recipe to see how easy it is to caramelize onions.) 

Allow this mixture to boil until all the water is boiled out and the water has evaporated completely.

Now, add this mixture to your marinading chicken. Toss to combine, careful as the mixture is hot (you can of course cool the mixture, but I don’t have that sort of time).

Place into the oven and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Garnish with some extra cilantro. I served this up with my favorite lemon infused couscous and it was a hit.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35

Keywords: Chicken, Moroccan, Sumac, Ginger, Spices

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48 Comments

      1. Does this recipe serve 4 people? I’m trying to add the recipe to My Fitness Pal
        It looks and sounds delicious!

        1. Hi Susan! I would say more like 6 people 🙂 But in my experience the most accurate way to tell what you are eating is to weigh the protein on a scale 🙂 Good luck! I have a ton of super healthy recipes on here that can help you stay on your path!

    1. This recipe looks amazing. But I do not care for Smokey paprika. Could I use regular paprika? Thankyou. Susan

    1. YES YES YES Amy!!! When people heat that I am a chef…they wonder why I am not overweight… Umm duh. Because I eat GOOD FOOD!

  1. Couldn’t get enough of this delicious dish the first time. Making it again! Thank you for a revamped way to make healthy, flavorful boneless chicken breast.

  2. Hello, Mila. I made this chicken last week when we celebrated Victory Day. It was so good, even older people in my family loved it (and they are not used to such food and usually do not like it!). Thank you for another great recipe.

    1. Irina that’s fantastic!!!! So glad it worked out!!!! And what a wonderful way to celebrate victory day!

  3. I have a cupboard full of spices that I use jazz up any dish in a healthy way. I’m all about clean eating too and this is my kind of dish and can’t wait to try it.

  4. Omg, Mila! I am in love with this dish! The flavors in Moroccan dishes are just so wonderfully warm and vibrant! And I can make this all in one dish?! This is perfect, considering I won’t have my kitchen for another week or so. One pan is all I need 😉

  5. I literally have never commented on an online recipe before, but this is one of the most delicious dishes I have ever made. It’s a 10/10 in terms of taste, ease and presentation. Thank you! This is a keeper for sure!

    1. Kelly! Thank you so much for leaving these kind words!!! It’s one of my most popular recipes among friends and family!!! EVERYONE loves it!!! Thanks you so much!!! Have a fantastic holiday season!

  6. Can I skip the paprika? I’m not a fan in general, but I don’t want to ruin the balance of the recipe. Thanks!

  7. I hope to make this tomorrow and freeze for Passover. How do I freeze it? I found the instructions for freezing the brisket and that is in the freezer, but I’m not sure how to do this. Thanks!!

    1. Hi I am sorry I am just seeing this now… but you freeze it just like you would freeze the brisket. With the sauce 🙂

  8. I made this dish and the Lemon Infused Couscous for dinner. Amazing flavors! Although, my main dish did not look like your picture here, it had a darker appearance and the fruit wasn’t as visible. My husband made the comment that it has a “grainy” texture. Wondering how to remedy that. The Couscous is a wonderful dish. Loved the Israeli style.

    1. I’m so happy that it was a success. Was the chicken grainy or the sauce? If it was the chicken it could have been overcooked…but if it was the sauce…more likely than not it was the sauce. When the dry fruit breaks down it tends to add a graininess so it could have been that!!

      1. When we had it for leftovers the next night for dinner, it did not have the same texture. Maybe I should have used the word “gritty.” Anyway, it warmed up wonderfully and we thoroughly enjoyed.

  9. Thanks much for this great recipe.

    This chicken is wonderfully tender and very tasty. We used them in wraps the next day with some rice.

    I will be using this dish the next time we want to impress someone for dinner.

  10. Hi. I enjoy getting your recipes and was excited to find a one pot meal that freezes well. I’ve searched this document and cannot find the recipe with ingredients and instructions. Will you please send it to me? Thanks for all that you do.

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