Looking for a recipe for Moroccan Chicken? Look no further! While organizing my spice drawer a few weeks ago, I found the Ras El Hanout spice blend I purchased in a winding little spice market in Marrakech. I had forgotten all about it!
While in Marrakech, we experienced some of the most flavorful Moroccan Chicken at a street vendor, who was grilling up chicken kabobs to the locals. He seasoned the chicken with Ras El Hanout. Simple yet amazing!
I decided to replicate grilled Moroccan Chicken and wanted these spices to shine through, therefore I kept it very simple. It turned out flavorful, juicy with layers of complexity from all the different spices.
If unfamiliar, Ras El Hanout is a blend of spices (most often ginger, coriander, cumin, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, turmeric, pepper, paprika) that varies from region to region in the Northern countries of Africa- Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria often used to season tagines, stews and meats. No two are the same.
In Arabic, ras el hanout translates to “top shelf”, originating from North African spice dealers who would blend the very best of their spices, to create an aromatic “signature” blend—sometimes upwards of 30-40 spices! I wish I could tell you the exact spices in the blend I found in Marrakech, but my palate is not that discerning. It tasted so layered and nuanced, lovely!
And YES, you could absolutely turn this grilled Moroccan Chicken into kebabs which would grill up beautifully! Which was my plan, until I realized we had no skewers. So plan B. Either way, delicious, I promise!
Toss the chicken with the flavorful Ras El Hanout paste, then grilled it and keep it warm in the oven until ready to serve. So very easy. Using chicken thighs ensures the chicken stays moist and juicy.
Serve the Moroccan Chicken with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle with fresh parsley and mint just before serving. Keep it basic or top it with this zesty Preserved Lemon Gremolata!
Moroccan Chicken- a quick and flavorful dinner. Serve with zesty Preserved Lemon Gremolata, Fluffy Basmati Rice (or everyday quinoa, or cauliflower rice) and Grilled Veggies or a big leafy green salad.
Grilled Moroccan Chicken with Ras El Hanout, garlic and lemon – a simple healthy recipe, using skinless chicken thighs, bursting with North African flavor! Delicious, fast and easy!
Pre-heat the grill to medium-high.
In a medium bowl, toss the paste with the chicken, coating all sides well. You could do this a day before and refrigerate.
Grill the thighs over medium-high heat, getting good grill marks on both sides. Move to a cooler side of grill, cover, and grill until cook through ( to 170 F), or place in a warm 350F oven to finish.
Right before serving, Squeeze with lemon and sprinkle with fresh herbs (mint and/or parsley).
Or make the Preserved Lemon Gremolata, and spoon over top.
If baking, bake on a sheet pan, on the middle rack, uncovered in 425F oven for 30-35 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165 F.
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