Chris Cooks: Moroccan Chicken & Rice

September 23, 2018

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If you’re ever around Julia when I tell her this is what we’re having for dinner, without exception you will hear her say, “That is my absolute favorite thing you make.” The flavor is rich and warm and perfect for cooler weather (or anytime, really), and it’s just a comforting meal. Paired with cardamom-scented rice, this will definitely end up in your rotation as a favorite.

Moroccan Chicken & Rice

Print Recipe
5 from 12 votes

Moroccan Chicken & Rice

This is an amazingly simple and delicious way to use cheaper cuts of chicken, like drumsticks. The long, slow cooking time makes the meat super tender. Served with a lightly dressed rice, this meal is packed with flavor and will definitely be a new favorite. 
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: chicken, drumsticks, Morocco, rice, wings
Servings: 6


For the Chicken

  • olive oil as needed for searing/sautéing
  • 6 servings chicken wings or drumsticks
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 quart bone broth or chicken stock
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 2 tsp ginger freshly grated
  • 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1-1 1/2 cups Greek olives

For the Rice

  • 2 cups jasmine rice rinsed
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • salt to taste


For the Chicken

  • Preheat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat and the oven to 325. Once heated, add 2 tbsp olive oil and sear the chicken, unseasoned, on all sides. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Add another tbsp olive oil to the Dutch oven and add the onions and garlic. Sweat on medium low for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • In an ungreased pan, toast the cumin seed, coriander seed and black peppercorns. Once they being to brown and smell fragrant, grind the spices in a mortar & pestle or coffee grinder. Add the cinnamon and turmeric and mix together. 
  • Add the spice mix to the onions and garlic. Stir to mix in evenly. If the pan is too dry, add 1/4 cup bone broth to break up the fond.
  • Add the rest of the broth, raisins, grated ginger, and lemon to the pan. Add the seared chicken and stir to combine. Place in the preheated oven, covered, for 1 1/2 hours for chicken wings, 2 hours for chicken legs. 
  • After 2 hours, remove the lid, add the cilantro, parsley, and olives, and roast for 30 more minutes at 375, uncovered. 

For the Rice

  • During the final 30 minute cook of the chicken, make the rice. Rinse the rice and add it to a lidded pot with the water and cardamom. Bring the rice to a boil, stir it, cover it and reduce the heat to low for 20 minutes. 
  • Make the rice dressing by whisking together the cilantro, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey. 
  • Once the rice is cooked, pour the dressing over it and gently toss to combine evenly. 

To Serve

  • Discard the lemon wedges from the chicken. Add a scoop of rice to the plate and top with chicken and some of the sauce. 

Equipment used:

Cutting BoardKnifeCast Iron Pot
Wooden SpoonIngredient CupsMicroplane

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What do you think?

  1. Rachel says:

    5 stars
    This has become a Saturday night must have! We sit and smell the aromas as it slowly bakes in the oven after all those delicious spices have made us drool when I dry fry them. Thanks so much for the recipe – cooking it tonight (but its a Monday) such a special dish during the low contact – less social part of our lives. I have shared this recipe with my online cooking group – one day I may even demonstrate it live to them too!

  2. Maggie says:

    5 stars
    Just made it and we loved it! Used a crock pot and it was till yummy

  3. Aliyah says:

    Hi!! Just wanted to confirm that there’s no added salt?? I used low sodium broth and ended up adding some salt to it. Did I miss it somewhere?
    Can’t wait to try it :) currently in the oven!

  4. M Berc says:

    Hello, this looks amazing. I’m going to make it this week but I only have cumin and coriander that are already grounded. What would be the equivalent amount of 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds to regular cumin? Thanks!

  5. Eileen says:

    I wonder what veggies could be used in a vegetarian version of this?

  6. Oana says:

    This looks fantastic!! Excited to try this as soon as my chicken legs defrost ha! Can you please also share a link to your Dutch oven?? I’m sort of obsessed with it

  7. Julie says:

    5 stars
    I recently found this recipe and made it last night. It’s outstanding!!! I fell in love with Moroccan food after visiting Marrakech, and this is the best Moroccan recipe I’ve found! The flavors are complex and the recipe pretty simple. Thank you, Chris and Julia!

  8. Leslie says:

    I bookmarked this ages ago and finally making tonight! Have you doubled it before?

  9. Melanie Post says:

    5 stars
    Made this last night and just wanted to say it was AMAZING. I was skeptical about the golden raisins and the dressing for the rice, but both were PERFECT and helped compliment all the flavors. So glad I didn’t modify a thing. Thanks for a great recipe!

  10. Libby says:

    5 stars
    I just made this for the first time after pinning it months ago… I have to say I was kinda worried about how it smelled when it went in the oven, and while it was cooking. I’ve never cooked with turmeric before, so I wasn’t familiar with the smell haha. But, my husband and I just ate it and it was soooo good! Definitely a keeper recipe!

  11. Jen L says:

    Hi Chris
    This looks amazing and can’t wait to make . Can I make this in a crockpot ? If so would I brown the chicken quick first ?

  12. Joanna M. says:

    5 stars
    I made this dish tonight and OMG it was amazing. Probably my favorite recipe I have ever made! Can’t wait to take this for family get together!

  13. Sarah says:

    Can I substitute a stainless steel pot for a Dutch oven? Looks so good!

  14. Sarah says:

    Is there any way to cook this if I don’t own a Dutch oven? Thanks!

  15. Liz B says:

    5 stars
    I’m making mine with chicken thighs, no bone no skin… should I still cook it for 2hrs? Currently in the oven, I guess I” find out! Spices smell soooooo good. Cant wait to try it out on the family tonight!

  16. Jill says:

    5 stars
    Dear dear Chris!
    This is a fantastic recipe. Had it for dinner tnite using skin on, bone in thighs. Scrumptious!
    I’m curious about the green olives in your photo. Your recipe calls for Greek olives. To me that meant kalamatas. But yours don’t look like kalamatas. Pls confirm. The rice is unbelievable’! Im not sure I can ever eat rice without honey syrup again!
    Thanks for such a delicious meal !

  17. Jenn says:

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner and the whole family loved it. Thank you! Five stars from me!

  18. Tricia says:

    question – where do you buy your spices? I’ve become a big fan of Penzy’s, but I’m wondering if there’s another online vendor of which I’m unaware – thanks!

    Going to try this weekend!

  19. Nic says:

    Can the cilantro be omitted without making the entire dish taste different? I’m allergic to it.

    • Chris says:

      So you’re probably also allergic to coriander, which is the seed part of cilantro. Omitting the leafy part will have less of an impact, but the coriander adds quite a bit to the dish. But you could replace the coriander with 1 1/2tsp paprika, 1/2tsp sumac, and a couple pinches of saffron threads. That will change the flavor, for sure, but it would still be really good.

  20. Izabela says:

    5 stars
    Just made the recipe but used an Instapot with a finish in the oven for the sake of time. It was exquisite and so full of rich flavors! The whole family loved it and they’re a pretty tough audience!

  21. beverly wright says:

    5 stars
    Just tried this recipe. Fabulous!!! Put in some chicken breasts too. Perfect! This dish is so good that it may work its way into our Christmas buffet!! The spices make this dish; its
    aroma is irresistible.

  22. Liz says:

    Hi! I love your addition of recipes to the blog roll! Your cooking is impressive, and recipes amazing! Is it an insult to ask for some tips or recipes for a pressure cooker? We used them every day while living in South America to make beans. (This was years ago, long before marriage or kids). Now there is a huge revival with electric pressure/slow/do-it-all cookers. I would love to expand my abilities to utilize the speed of a pressure cooker doing something other than feijoada. Thanks for your consideration!

    • Chris says:

      You know, I probably should but I have to say I’m not a huge fan of them. I’m that weirdo who prefers putting a roast in a pot in the oven at 10am and letting it slow cook all day. BUT, there are some times where I use a pressure cooker – I’ll try sharing a few of those recipes. :)

  23. Caroline says:

    Any idea if you could use regular powdered cumin, coriander, and black pepper? I have all those but do not have seeds. If I could do that, any idea how much? (I know it won’t be as good . . . .)

  24. Ellen says:

    Hi, looks fantastic! I just bought bone-in, skin-on thighs. How long would I cook, and could I layer them? Or should I put in a larger dish with foil? Thanks!!

    • Chris says:

      Thighs work so well with this! Cook them the way you would the drumsticks, and you can definitely layer. You’ll just want to stir them around a bit 1 hour into cooking so every piece can spend time submerged in the cooking liquid.

  25. Carrie says:

    Great recipe! I’m not seeing the link to the video, tho. Can you update?


  26. Lori says:

    This looks amazing and I’m going to make it for dinner tonight! I want to try cauliflower rice instead of the jasmine rice. How much riced cauliflower would you use? 3-4 cups?

    • Chris says:

      This recipe is for 6 people, so if you’re going for 6 adult servings I would do 6 cups of cauliflower rice. For kids around 12 and under I do 1/2 cup servings.

      • Lori says:

        Will do– wasn’t sure how much jasmine rice would fluff up during cooking. Thanks for the quick reply! Heading to the grocery store now. :)

    • Alina says:

      This is in my oven right now and the house smells heavenly! Can I replace cardamom with another blend of spices? Perhaps pumpkin spice?

  27. Kristen says:

    Yup. Making this next weekend. Looks delicious!

  28. Jill says:

    5 stars
    Oh wow! I’m going to use skin on thighs for this recipe! Just sounds SO GOOD. Thanks so much Chris.

  29. Andrea R. says:

    Holy crap this looks good!!!! I can’t wait to make this for a Sunday dinner!!!!

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