Moroccan-Spiced Chicken with Carrots Raisins + Couscous

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken with Carrots and Raisins + Couscous

Two related cooking challenges we constantly get asked to solve are: 1) I need more chicken recipes! and 2) How can I make chicken taste less bland? This recipe for Moroccan-Spiced Chicken with Carrots and Raisins happens to kill both these birds with one stone. It’s simple and budget-friendly enough for any weeknight dinner, but the Moroccan-inspired spice blend transforms ordinary chicken into an exotic and impressive dish for entertaining as well. Who can resist a meal that’s easy on the wallet and lets us make use of our often neglected spice-drawer?

When I was coming up with this recipe, I wanted to select spices that were likely already part of your collection. I also wanted to make this work with any cut of chicken to fit your tastes and budget. I used bone-in, skin-on drumsticks since it’s my favorite part of the chicken and also one of the cheapest cuts available. To make sure we have the tastiest chicken possible, these drumsticks get their first injection of flavor with some basic seasoning and tenderizing. They’re then coated with a simple blend of cinnamon, cumin, and ginger (you can skip the ginger if you don’t already own it) and seared in a saute pan or cast iron skillet to create color and caramelization which adds another layer of flavor to your chicken.┬áThe chicken finally gets cooked with the carrots, onions, and raisins in a stock, which creates a natural sweet sauce that’s flavored by the spices. Finish the dish with some acid like fresh lemon juice to bring out all the flavors, and you’ll have a new favorite chicken recipe that will be anything but bland.

Prep time
Cook time
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Let’s take a look at that spice drawer. You’ll likely find that you already have all the ingredients needed for this flavorful and easy Moroccan-spiced chicken. Use any type of chicken. Bone-in costs less but boneless cooks quicker – make the trade-off that makes sense for you!
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients for Chicken
  • Chicken, any type (I used skin-on drumsticks on sale) – 1 to 1.5 lbs.
  • Salt – ½ tsp.
  • Black pepper – ¼ tsp.
  • Onions – 1
  • Carrots – 1 lb.
  • Cinnamon – 2 tsp.
  • Cumin – ½ tsp.
  • Ginger, ground (optional) – ½ tsp.
  • Veg / canola / grapeseed oil – 2 tbs.
  • Raisins (or prunes) – ¼ cup
  • Chicken stock – 1.5 cups
  • Parsley – A few sprigs
  • Lemons – 2
Ingredients for Couscous
  • Couscous, dry – 1.5 cups
  • Chicken stock – 2 cups
  • Butter – 1 tbs.
Prep
  1. Chicken – Season with salt & pepper and tenderize with a fork. Check out our how-to video here
  2. Onions – Slice into strips
  3. Carrots – Peel & chop into bite-sized pieces
  4. Spices – Mix in a small bowl Prep work for Moroccan-Spiced Chicken
Make
  1. Coat chicken with spices
  2. Heat a wide pan with a lid (we’ll use it later) over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs. of oil to the pan. Once oil is heated, add your chicken and sear for ~2 minutes on each side. Remove seared chicken and set aside Searing Moroccan-Spiced Chicken
  3. Return pan to heat and add another tbs. of oil (it’s OK if there are some chicken / spices left over in the pan). Add onions and a pinch of salt to the heated oil. Saute onions until softened and slightly translucent, ~3 minutes
  4. Add carrots and raisins to the pan with another dash of salt. Nestle the chicken into the vegetables. Pour in stock, bring to a boil, cover, and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for ~10 minutes for boneless chicken, ~20 minutes for bone-in chicken, or until chicken reaches 160 degrees Cooking Moroccan-Spiced Chicken
  5. While chicken is cooking, bring stock and butter to boil in a separate sauce pan. Take off heat, add couscous, and cover with a lid. Wait 5 minutes and then fluff couscous with a fork
  6. Chop some parsley and lemons, which will add a lot of flavor to your finished dish. Give your whole pot of chicken a squeeze of lemon juice or serve with individual wedges. A glass of red? A glass of white? Take your pick, and enjoy your trip to Morocco!
Smarts
  1. Love dried fruit? Apricots, dried apples or pears, or prunes would all be delicious in this dish as well
  2. Take advantage of the other white meat and substitute pork tenderloin or chops for chicken
  3. Make this dish vegetarian by substituting garbanzo beans for chicken and adding more root vegetables
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Moroccan-Spiced Chicken by Cook Smarts

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