Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons

Moroccan Chicken 1

This easy Moroccan dish really packs a punch- bright, vibrant flavours (and colours) that wow with a very minimal amount of effort. I often make this for dinner guests because it’s exotic and flavourful without being spicy.

I usually serve this dish with chelo, a buttery crisped Persian rice. Chelo is amazingly delicious but can be a little finicky- I promise I will post it one of these days. In the meantime, if any of you are curious might I recommend Najmieh Batmanglij’s New Food of Life– not only is it a spectacular cookbook but she outlines techniques to make chelo on both a stovetop and in a rice cooker. Magic.

If you’re looking for something a little simpler (and more traditional- last time I checked Morocco and Iran weren’t neighbours), this dish is great over regular steamed rice or couscous. Roast up some carrots with a little mint or toss together a nice green salad with some orange segments and you’ve got yourself a lovely Moroccan feast!

Moroccan Chicken 2

A lot of Moroccan recipes call for preserved lemons, which you can buy at places like Whole Foods or other specialty stores. Honestly- I just make ’em myself. They really are dead easy to make so whenever lemons are on sale I re-stock my reserves. Preserved lemons will keep in your fridge for up to 6 months so they are a great pantry staple if you’re a fan of their zippy flavour!

Moroccan Chicken and Preserved Lemons
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Moroccan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • Marinade:
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • .
  • 10-15 dried apricots
  • ⅛ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅛ cup dried currants
  • 1 preserved lemon- peel only, sliced into strips
  • 6-8 chicken thighs
  1. In a large bowl mix all marinade ingredients together then add chicken, coating thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
  2. Once the chicken is marinated, remove from fridge. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and place chicken in, skin side down (if your chicken thighs have skin). Brown for 5 minutes then flip with tongs.
  3. Sprinkle apricots, cranberries, currants and preserved lemon peel over the chicken. Do not stir. Turn the heat down to med-low and cover, cooking for an additional 20 minutes. If the mixture appears too dry add ⅛ cup water.
  4. Serve with rice, chelo (persian rice pilaf) or couscous.



  1.'Dave says

    I made this the other night and it was really incredible. Next time I’m making a double batch so I’ll have leftovers! Are you going to post your personal recipe for preserved lemons sometime? I finally tracked some down at a specialty market but they’re pretty tough to find in Australia. Considering how many lemon trees we have growing around, it would be excellent and much more affordable to be able to make my own.

    • says

      Hi Dave, I will definitely post my recipe for preserved lemons soon. They are crazy easy to make and will save you a heap of cash- especially if you can scrump your local lemons! Colour me jealous you can grow citrus fruits in Australia!

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