Food Glorious Food: Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan chicken marinating in citrus juice mixture

Following on from my rather sombre post yesterday, I thought I’d cheer everyone up again – by feeding you!

I’ve made this dish for just about everybody who has ever visited us in Spain, and it’s been a winner every time.  I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for some time, but for one reason or other I haven’t got round to it, but I’m not going to selfishly keep it to myself any longer.   This is for you, Cathy – as promised!

The beauty of this dish is that you can do the preparation in advance, so that when your guests arrive, you’ll have plenty of time to relax with them, (enjoying a glass of wine), before you knock their socks off with a delicious dinner!

I love cooking and make most of my meals from scratch.  For me, this dish is made all the sweeter by using lemons, oranges, almonds and mint growing in the garden.  I’m pretty confident that you’ll love it, too – even if you don’t have your own orange tree to hand!  🙂

Let’s get cooking!

To make this tangy, lip-smacking, taste-bud-tingling treat for two people, you’ll need:

2 medium chicken breasts (skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces)

I medium onion (peeled and chopped)

2 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)

2 large oranges (juiced – I also use any bits of crushed fruit)

1 large lemon  (juiced – I also use any bits of crushed fruit)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tablespoons of chopped dates (take out the stone and cut into thirds)

1 tablespoon of almond nuts (chopped in half, if you prefer)

1 level teaspoon of ground cinnamon spice

Up to ¼ teaspoon of hot chilli powder (according to taste)

Handful of fresh mint leaves (chopped)

A few whole black peppercorns (optional)

Here’s what you do:

Put the diced chicken pieces and the chopped onion into a shallow dish.

In a plastic measuring jug, juice the oranges and lemon, adding any bits of crushed fruit.  Stir in the crushed garlic, olive oil, cinnamon, chilli powder and half of the chopped mint, to combine the ingredients together.  You should end up with between 300-400 mls of liquid.

Now, pour the juice mixture over the chicken and onions, add the chopped dates, nuts and whole black peppercorns.

Cover the dish with cling-film, pop in the fridge and leave the chicken to marinate for anything from 10 minutes to a couple of hours.

When you’re ready to start cooking, pick out the individual pieces of chicken with a pair on tongs, and gently fry them on a medium heat in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  (Make sure you have picked out every last piece of chicken from the marinade).  Turn the chicken pieces and when they are just starting to brown slightly, add all the citrus liquid mixture to the frying pan.

Your dinner is now less than ten minutes from being ready!

Turn up the heat under the pan, and bring the mixture to the boil.  Allow to simmer and as it does so, the mixture will begin to thicken, making the most delicious tangy sauce.  If you need to thicken the sauce a little more, just turn up the heat.

Stir in the remainder of the fresh chopped mint and serve immediately.

I usually serve Moroccan chicken with brown rice, but it’s just as delicious if you team it up with cous-cous.  There will be enough for two people using this quantity of ingredients.  I tend to use one medium chicken breast per person and adjust the amount of ingredients to personal taste.  It’s always best to have a spare orange or lemon to add to the juice mix, just in case you need a bit more liquid.  If you love dates, put a few more in – they go wonderfully sticky.  If you don’t have dates you can use sultanas instead.  When cooking for more than two people, I’ve been known to use the juice of a couple of limes, as well.

The main thing is, have the confidence to alter this dish to suit yourself.

Que aproveche!

If you enjoy cooking (or eating), you might like to try these recipes:

Classic Spanish Omelette: Tortilla Española

Easy No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies

Fresh Figs Stuffed with Goat´s Cheese and wrapped in Smoked Bacon

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68 thoughts on “Food Glorious Food: Moroccan Chicken

  1. Looks very delicious. I like the idea of marinating the chicken. I’m sure it gives it a real good flavor. I am adding it to my recipe catalog. Thanks for sharing ….. and … helping me to come up with something new for dinner. ~~~ : – )

    • Yes, they do soften, Madhu – but they only cook for the last ten minutes (or a little less) in the sauce. You could always throw the nuts in during the last two minutes if you want them a bit more crunchy!

      Good point.

  2. This looks wonderful, and I bet it smells equally good too. Fantastic that you can walk out and pick so many of the ingredients – that always makes the food taste better 🙂

    • Mmmmm … yes, it does smell delicious.

      When we moved to this house there were only almond trees here (as the house was built on what used to be an almond grove), but we soon set to work planting olives, oranges, figs, lemons, apricots, mango, avocado etc. We reap the benefits of all that hard work now. 🙂

      I’m sure it must be similar for you at your place up the coast.

      • It’s a nice thought but a productive garden for Taylor Arm is only in the plans, for at the moment we just don’t spend enough time there. Your garden sounds like paradise 🙂

        • I understand that, because you aren’t there all the time, it’s impractical at the moment. Fun planning, though!

          Our garden is lovely now. It’s been a lot of hard work, and at times it still is. Worth it though 🙂

    • Let me know how you get on, wont you? I’d love to know. I get so much pleasure passing on recipes. Much like gardeners do when they share cuttings with each other!

  3. Oh yes!! I’ve been waiting for this. Am cutting and pasting it into a word document now so I can take the ingredient list to the grocery store. I know this will be as big a hit around here as it was when you made it for me! I’ll let you know how it goes over. Thanks, Marianne. 🙂

  4. I think I could cope with that. Sad lack of lemon trees in Hartlepool. It’ll have to be the Aldi variety 🙂
    Thanks, Marianne. Still can’t get my head around Anita.

  5. I just copied 4 of your recipes and have saved them….first one will be the moroccan chicken and then the figs and goat cheese with bacon! Thanks!

    • You’re welcome, Christine. I love sharing recipes.

      Funnily enough, I made the fig and bacon dish for lunch, but as I didn’t have any goat’s cheese, I used brie. Still delicious – and great to be able to use the figs freshly plucked from the tree 🙂

I´d love to hear from you, and much appreciate your comments. Thank you.

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