Enjoy a festival of flavors with this Moroccan chicken recipe. Chicken breast marinated in aromatic spices and cooked to perfection – and served with delicious couscous – makes this the perfect meal!
I love to show you how to make what is known as exotic food in a very simple and easy way with ingredients you already have.
One of my 2018 goals (the main one, basically), is to bring you more recipes from the other side of the world where I come from. I love to share some chicken recipes with you and show you how simple it is to make delicious main dishes like Zereshk Polo or Persian chicken with saffron that are like nothing you’ve tried before yet feel so familiar and homey. The magic of spices and flavors paired with memories and stories make these dishes feel as if we are all around one table, enjoying life, one dish at a time.
In addition to Persian food, I love to do Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes, too. I lived in Istanbul, Turkey for three years and loved the food for its freshness, flavors and diversity. And, now, North African food is starting to find its place among my favorite cuisines, too!
Moroccan chicken marinade
Above all of the ingredients used in cooking, spices have always had a special place in my heart. It’s amazing how a small amount of cardamom can give so much aroma or how a pinch of cayenne can bring so much heat! This Moroccan chicken recipe is made with an amazing marinade that has seven spices such as cinnamon and cardamom. It’s full of flavors that work so well together and is perfect for a family meal or a friendly dinner.
How to make Moroccan chicken recipe with couscous
To make this tasty and easy Moroccan chicken, you need a spice mix. You can either buy the Moroccan spice mix from a spice shop or make it at home. Spare one teaspoon of the Moroccan spice to add to couscous and mix the rest with some olive oil to make a paste.
Rub this paste all over the chicken breasts and let them marinade for about 30 minutes. Sear the chicken breasts in a skillet and then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes depending on their size. Once they’re fully cooked, cover them with aluminum foil for ten minutes and then slice them.
Moroccan couscous recipe
Making Moroccan couscous is very simple as it’s a one pot dish. Saute onion and garlic with some extra virgin olive oil, then add in diced carrots and the Moroccan spice you saved and stir well. Next, add in the raisins and couscous and give it a nice stir. Lastly, add some water and bring it to simmer, and let it cook for about 30 minutes until the couscous is soft but not mushy.
To give this Moroccan dish some acidity, I always add some lemon juice to the couscous right before serving. Also, adding some chopped parsley in the end would make the dish very presentable and beautiful in addition to adding some bright color.
What to serve Moroccan chicken with
This Moroccan chicken recipe is so versatile, you can serve it with white rice, couscous or bulgur. You can even make a Moroccan chicken sandwich with some greens and sliced tomatoes. Or, if it’s your healthy eating day, you can serve it on a bed of Romaine lettuce with some toasted pine nuts and have a Moroccan chicken salad. However you decide to serve this chicken, it’s going to be great.
Can I freeze Moroccan chicken?
Yes! The best way to freeze Moroccan chicken is to freeze the marinated chicken breasts. When you make the Moroccan spice marinade, spread it all over the chicken breasts, place them in a ziploc bag and freeze.
Once you’re ready to cook the Moroccan chicken, thaw the chicken breasts in the fridge overnight and proceed with the recipe: sear the chicken and then bake it in the oven until fully cooked and serve with couscous.
Notes and tips to make Moroccan Chicken:
- You can marinade the chicken breasts with Moroccan spice and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- The amount of cayenne in this easy Moroccan chicken recipe is enough for the chicken to have a mild heat. If you prefer the chicken to be spicier, add 1/2 tsp cayenne to the original recipe.
- Both golden raisins and dark raisins can be used in this recipe.
- You can make a larger batch of this Moroccan spice and store it in a jar to have at hand. You can use this spice with breakfast eggs, in rice dishes, or any kind of meat dish for more flavor.
- Once the couscous is cooked, fluff it using two forks. Hold two forks and gently bring the bottom grains to the top and repeat until all the grains have been moved. This helps prevent the couscous from sticking together.
The simplicity and warm flavors and spices in this Moroccan chicken recipe make this dish perfect for any day and any occasion.
Moroccan Chicken and Couscous
Enjoy a festival of flavors with this Moroccan chicken recipe. Chicken breast marinated in aromatic spices and cooked to perfection, served with delicious couscous makes this the perfect meal!
Moroccan Spice Blend
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Cardamom
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 2 tbsp Moroccan Spice Blend
- 1/8 cup Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 large Yellow Onion Diced
- 4 cloves Garlic Minced
- 2 Carrots Diced
- 1 tsp Moroccan Spice
- 1/2 cup Raisins
- 1 1/2 cup Coucous
- 2 cups Water
- 1/3 cup Parsley Chopped
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
Moroccan Spice Blend
Place all the spices in a large bowl, stir using a small spoon.
Take one teaspoon of the spice blend and save it for the couscous. Two tablespoons of the Moroccan spice blend will be used for the chicken.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Coat a baking sheet with non stick spray. Set aside.
Mix two tablespoons of the Moroccan spice blend with the olive oil until it forms a paste.
Spread the paste over the chicken breasts on all sides. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, sear the chicken breasts in the pan, 3 minutes on each side. Place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until fully cooked. Take them out of the oven, cover with a piece of aluminum foil and let them sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until golden.
Add carrots and cook for 3 minutes.
Add Moroccan spices and stir well. Add raisins to the vegetables.
Add couscous and stir well so it's incorporated with the vegetables and spices.
Add in water and bring it to boil. Lower the heat, cover and let it cook for 20 to 30 minutes until it's fully cooked. Fluff the couscous using two forks.
Add lemon juice and parsley to the couscous.
Serve the couscous with sliced Moroccan chicken.
You can marinade the chicken and refrigerate it for up to a day, and proceed with the steps when you're ready to cook.
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