Moroccan Baked Chicken with Lemon & Coriander Cous Cous

Moroccan baked chicken is one of my favorite meals. It's such an easy recipe but it tastes divine and the preparation is minimal. Throw everything in the dish the night before to let the flavours infuse and simply bake in the oven. You can use chicken breast diced up if you prefer but the cooking time will be quicker. Lamb shank also works well but you will need to cook for longer.

Ras el Hanout is a blend of spices used in North Africa. Find it in the spices section of the supermarket where it might be called Moroccan seasoning or rub. An oven proof dish with a lid is ideal for cooking this but if you don’t have one, just use oven proof dish covered with foil.

The sweet potato does turn brown when cooked with prunes so if you prefer, roast or bake it in a separate dish. 

Video recipe:

Moroccan Baked Chicken

with Lemon & Coriander Cous Cous

  • Time: 10 - 15 minutes preparation + 1 - 2 hours baking
  • Cost: £1.37 per serving (including cous cous)
  • Calories: 753 per serving (including cous cous)
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients For the chicken:

  • 4 chicken legs, skinned and excess fat trimmed
  • 1 generous tablespoon of Ras el Hanout
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 x 410g tin prunes in natural juice
  • 1 x 400g tin chick peas, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 - 10 wedges
  • 1 large sweet potato (approximately 500g in weight), peeled and diced
  • Approximately 200ml water

INGREDIENTS For the cous cous:

  • 200g cous cous
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander chopped or 1 teaspoon dried coriander leaf
  • 25g butter or 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
  • 250ml boiling water
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Stab the skinned chicken legs with a sharp knife and place in a large oven proof dish (preferably with a lid). Sprinkle over the Ras el Hanout and rub all over the chicken so it is evenly coated. Drizzle the chicken with the honey.
  2. Drain the tin of prunes saving the juice. Tear the prunes in half removing the stones and arrange them around the chicken. Scatter the chickpeas garlic, onion and sweet potato over the chicken. Pour the prune juice over the chicken and enough water so the ingredients are approximately 3/4 submersed in liquid. Pop on the lid or cover with foil. You can leave this overnight if you like.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 160 C / gas mark 3 for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the potatoes are soft and the chicken is cooked through. Give everything a gentle stir without mashing the potatoes or breaking up the chicken. Remove the lid, increase the heat to 220 C / gas mark 7. Bake uncovered for around 10 minutes just to brown the meat and reduce the sauce.
  4. When cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove everything from the dish except the liquid. If there is any fat in the liquid you can tip up the dish and use a spoon to remove it. You can use the remaining liquid as a sauce if you wish.
  5. To make the lemon & coriander cous cous, combine the cous cous, boiling water, lemon juice, coriander, butter and salt to taste. Stir well and cover. Leave to stand for 5 - 10 minute until the water has been absorbed. Fluff up with a fork before serving.

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