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Succulent and moist – Moroccan Roast Chicken

Was it just chance that we were watching a doco about a Moroccan women’s Fantasia team (look it up – fascinating) – while in the oven I had a dish cooking which was from a recipe called Moroccan Roast Chicken? Weird. Anyhow, I was drawn to the recipe because (a) it looked delicious (b) it was in one pot and (c) I had a chicken. (And quite probably in no way is this recipe authentic!)

The recipe I had was for potatoes and tomatoes to be added, however I added brussels sprouts and decided not to use tomatoes. The original recipe also called for dried apricots – alas the pantry did not have any so I subbed dried cranberries – and they were delicious! You get the drift – experiment with what is in your pantry.

To be more authentic you should cook this in a tagine – but we don’t have one. I did cook it in a ‘dutch oven’ – a very large heavy cast iron pan with a lid. It did the trick.

This will take about 2 hours to cook. Time enough to have a glass of wine (possibly more – it depends on your average minutes per glass I guess) and prepare any other veges you want to add to this dish. I steamed some carrot and then braised it in a little butter and cumin.

Left: Chicken with spice rub Middle: veges with oil rub Right: Ready to go into the oven

Turn the oven on to 180 degrees celsius.


  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sumac  
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 x medium sized chicken
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lime or lemon (or splash out and use a whole one)
  • 500g baby potatoes, cleaned
  • 8 clove garlic, peeled (I cut my cloves in half)
  • 2 handfuls of dried cranberries
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • parsley (to serve)

Mix spice mix together. Ensure chicken is dried (pat with a paper towel) and remove giblets if they have been left in. Pat spice all over chicken. Add quartered lime/lemon and 2 teaspoons of spice mix inside chicken. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your pan and then place chicken in pan.

Place potatoes, brussels sprouts, garlic and cranberries into a bowl and add about 2 tablespooons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix these together and then add into pan alongside the chicken.

Cover with the lid and let bake for up to 2 hours – depending on your chicken it might be ready 15 minutes or so earlier. Although I had a reasonably small chicken I cooked it for the whole 2 hours – it was delectably falling off the bones. Because the pan doesn’t create steam like a tagine, you might want to dowse the chicken with the pan juices when you have finished cooking (or even part way through).

Garnish with parsley and serve.

Mr MWCED and I decided this is definitely a keeper recipe and we’ll cook it again.