Moroccan Marinated Chicken

by Gavan on November 5, 2010

How many times have you had dry boring bland chicken? It’s one of the easiest meats to over cook yet is also one of the best to absorb flavour. I’ve cooked many a bird but this marinade is probably one of my faves (hopefully I haven’t said that before).
To show you how versatile this ol’ bird is here’s a few other recipes.


Serves 4-6

2 whole organic chickens- portioned (breasts, drumsticks, thighs)
1 cup chicken broth or water

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon pepper (if no lemon pepper use same amt pepper, add 1 lemon- zested)
1 tsp agave or honey

Combine the marinade ingredients together and whisk. Taste.  Set aside.

Preheat large skillet on high heat. Lay all the chicken pieces on a foiled tray and sprinkle both sides with S&P. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet and in batches sear the chicken on both sides until golden. 2-3 minutes each side.
The purpose here is to just colour the chicken not cook it. Once browned add all the chicken to the marinade and coat all pieces evenly.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
When ready to cook remove marinaded chicken from fridge 30 minutes before cooking and lay on a foiled oven try to let return to room temperature.

NOTE: If you cook the chicken straight from the fridge by the time the heat penetrates the center of the meat the outside will be over cooked and dry.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place the dark meat (thighs, drumsticks) on a foiled oven tray. We’ll be popping them in the oven first to start cooking and add the breasts after.

Pop the dark meat in oven for 20 minutes. After 8 minutes of cooking the dark meat add the chicken breasts and broth to the same tray to cook for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken has an internal temp 160°F. This way everything will be ready at the same time.
To check doneness, remove 1 drumstick (after 20 minutes) and cut into meat next to bone. If the juices come out clear and not bloody you’re good to go.

Once cooked remove trays from oven and let stand for 3 minutes. This is to let the meat relax and let the juices redistribute back into the meat (and not all over your plate).


All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers’ market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Denise Michaels - Adventurous Foodie November 7, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Loving the creativity of this. The combinations of spices and flavors in Moroccan cuisine are a little surprising and really wonderful. I’m inspired to use the ideas here in something a little different. I’ll figure it out. *smile* Thanks for taking the time to share it.

Gavan November 11, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Hey Denise. Did you end up using the marinade on anything?
Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Denise Michaels - Adventurous Foodie November 12, 2010 at 9:45 am

Hi Gavan: I’m looking forward to giving it a try on Saturday (tomorrow) when I have a little more time for cooking. I have a business that’s totally unrelated to food. Want to gradually make the shift away from what I’ve done for a decade now with my blog, etc.

Urban Chaos December 4, 2010 at 6:52 pm


This was a HUGE hit tonight. I served it up with a fresh green salad, couscous and fruit salad to a couple of on-duty police officers. We were all impressed.

Thank you for sharing!

Gavan December 5, 2010 at 8:48 am

Thanks so much for the kudos. You served it the exact way I would have. I’m delighted you all enjoyed and thanks for taking the time to let me know. Cheers.

Keydren June 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Thanks for sharing. What a pluesare to read!

Christina June 17, 2011 at 9:04 am

Hi, thanks for a great recipe! I marinated the chicken overnight and will be cooking it later today. Was just looking at instructions again. Can I clarify – I should put the dark meat in the oven first for 20 minutes, and then after that add chicken breasts (that I’ve cooked stovetop for 8 minutes)? Approximately how long do you think the chicken will take in the oven? I’ll be taking out the leg every 5 minutes and cutting into it without a time estimate… Thanks again!

Gavan June 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Hey Christina, apparently I stopped half way through a sentence in the directions. I must have had a brain fart, sorry about that.
First you’re going to cook for a total of 20 minutes, approx. Dark and white. Start off by cooking the dark meat for 8 minutes and then add the breasts to the same tray. Check a drumstick after 20 minutes to see if it’s cooked and if so the breasts will also be done having cooked for 12 minutes. That make sense?
I fixed my directions as well.
Thanks so much for taking the time to get in touch.

Gavan June 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Thanks Keydren, much appreciated.

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