Moroccan Chicken

It’s a Moroccan kind of week I guess, which is a bit ironic since I know very little about food from that part of the world. Don’t hold the name against me though—Google led me to believe that tomatoes, currants, garlic, almonds and the spices I used were indeed Moroccan-ish.

In any event, this dish is T-A-S-T-Y! And it goes perfectly with Moroccan Cauli-Rice.  (I’m trying to use up my currants and sliced almonds, can you tell?) The chicken needs to braise for about 45 minutes, which gives you the right amount of time to whip up some cauli-rice and tidy up the kitchen before serving dinner. And as a busy mom, any dinner that finishes in the oven (or simmering on the stove top) therefore allowing me to clean up the kitchen prior to eating, gets another star in my book.

1 whole chicken, cut into sections (or buy one pre-butchered)
2-3 TBSP ghee
28oz can organic crushed tomatoes
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 2 TBSP)
1.5 cups diced white or yellow onion
1/4 cup raw honey
1 large bay leaf (or two small ones)
1/4 cup dried organic currants
1/4 cup sliced almonds, plus additional for garnish
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sea salt (use less for finer grain salts)
pinch red chili flakes (about 1/8 tsp)
Optional garnish: fresh mint, cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

If you have a whole chicken, butcher it into sections (breasts, legs, thighs) first.  I like to grab one of the pre-cut chickens when I go to Trader Joe’s and save myself the step. You can find organic free-range birds there for a good price.

Break out your dutch oven and melt 2-3 tablespoons of ghee at medium high heat.  Working in batches, sear the pieces of chicken to get a golden brown crust on the outside (don’t worry that the insides aren’t cooked, we just need to sear the skin at this point). Set the chicken aside once browned.

Reduce heat to medium. Quickly toss in the onion, garlic and sea salt and begin to sweat the onions.  Warning — the dutch oven is going to be fairly hot still and whatever’s left in that pot will want to burn, so get your onions in quickly and start moving them around. The salt will help draw out the moisture fast enough to keep the whole thing from sticking and burning.

Once the onions are translucent and brown, add the crushed tomatoes, almonds, currants and remaining dry seasonings. Stir together. Add the honey next, but stream it in slowly, stirring (or ideally, whisking) the whole time.  Globs of honey will find its way to the bottom of the pan and will burn during the braising process, so take the time to properly blend in the honey. Let the sauce simmer for ten minutes.

Add the chicken back into the simmering sauce and reduce the heat again to low. Submerge and/or coat the pieces in sauce as best you can, then cover the dutch oven and allow to braise on the stove top for 45-50 minutes. Check the internal temperature of a chicken breast and determine if an additional five to ten minutes is needed. 

When serving, garnish with additional sliced almonds and some fresh mint, cilantro or flat-leaf parsley. It’s fantastic. Also, it’s a good idea to keep the extra sauce in a serving bowl at the table. It’s addicting and we ended up spooning more over our chicken as we ate. Yum!

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There are a couple tools that make preparing this recipe go smoothly: a Dutch oven, a good butcher’s knife (if you are using a whole chicken), and a whisk to make sure that honey really breaks up in the sauce so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.


  1. Katy says

    I want to try this, but I’m not the handiest person in the kitchen. Do you leave the skin on the chicken or do you take it off? Thanks!

    • popularpaleo says

      No problem! You’ll want to leave the skin on to get a really good sear on the chicken prior to braising it in the sauce.

  2. Christy says

    I tried printing several of your recipes but all that printed was the comments. Is there a way for you to put the recipe in a printable form? Would love to have easy access to them!

    • popularpaleo says

      I hear ya, Christy! I’m working on integrating the plug-in that allows for that. This website tech stuff is over my head sometimes… I just like to cook! :-) I hope to have something in place to make this process easier on you all soon!

    • popularpaleo says

      Alyeska – I’m thinking that it could work if you still seared the chicken and made sure the honey was really well incorporated into the tomato sauce. Honestly a thick-bottomed pan with high sides and a lid would almost work better than a crock pot. I worry about the honey settling and burning at the bottom of the crock. :-/

  3. yousra says

    Let me tell you, this looks yummy, but it is definetly NOT Moroccan, and this is coming from a Moroccan gal. If you want the real Moroccan way of cooking, mouth watering chicken, I would be happy to share.


  1. […] 17. Moroccan Chicken It’s usually Moroccan lamb that gets the accolades, but you’ll definitely want to try this Moroccan chicken recipe. It has plenty going on, and still manages to be Paleo. They’re using organic ingredients wherever possible, which is a smart thing to do since you cut out the pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics that are used on conventional foods. You’ll want to find a good source of organic free-range chicken when you start Paleo, and find a place that sells it at a fair price as well. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the different spices and seasonings used in this to give it a Moroccan flavor. […]

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