Moroccan-style chicken with lentils

Moroccan-style chicken with lentils

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(74 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 40 mins


Serves 2 adults and 2-3 children
Lesley Waters’ rich chicken dish has vibrant North African flavours and goes fantastically with rice or couscous

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per adult serving

  • kcal461
  • fat13g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs40g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre6g
  • protein48g
  • salt1.45g
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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs



    Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…

  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 1 large onion, finely sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 50g split red lentil



    The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…

  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 700ml chicken stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 200g whole dried apricot
  • handful mint leaves, to serve (optional)



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Rub 1 tbsp olive oil into the chicken thighs. Mix the garlic, cumin, coriander and paprika together, then rub all over the chicken thighs on both sides.

  2. Heat a large flameproof casserole, add the chicken thighs and cook over a medium heat for 5 mins until golden on both sides. You might need to do this in 2 batches, depending on the size of the casserole. Set the chicken aside. Turn down the heat, add the remaining oil and fry the onion for 5 mins until softened.

  3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, apart from the mint and bring to the boil. Place the chicken thighs on top and pour in any juices. Cover and cook for 1½ hrs, until the meat is tender and the sauce thickened. Can be cooled and frozen at this stage for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge, then gently warm through. Scatter with fresh mint leaves and serve with couscous or rice.

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Comments (86)

ecollins's picture

Nice recipe. Easy to make. like others, I put in only 500ml of stock. This was more than enough. I did find it was under-seasoned. I would add more depending on what you prefer. I also added some thinly sliced bell pepper and extra lentils. I think it would have been a bit light otherwise. Gist of the recipe is fine. Just tweak a little as you go!

SiNZ's picture

Good stuff. Instead of ketchup, I used harissa. (Ketchup, really?) After reading comments, I used less stock (500ml) and think I should have added more lentils or reduced stock further. Either that or add some capsicum and/or mushrooms to flesh out the sauce a bit more. Overall, despite these comments, it is delicious. Chicken thighs were very tender. Also added a chilli and a cup of quinoa to accompany. Recommended but tinker with the recipe.

Franklp's picture

Seriously delicious! Following others advice I used about half the stock and some harissa for an extra spice kick. I added more lentils plus some carrots and came out as a wonderful, thick stew. No need for rice or cous cous just a bowl of tasty goodness!

Jackie Gilmore-Crowe's picture

This dish is amazing with a bit of adaptation My 19 year old son had seconds. Firstly reduce the stock by half and secondly increase the spices according to taste. I used diced chicken breast and did it on the hob - reduces cooking time. A really lovely dish.

carefuldavid's picture

I loved this dish, but as others have said, there is too much stock - 500 ml is ample. A sliced red or green pepper, or courgette or also give it more substance. A sprinkling of toasted, flaked almonds also work well.

andy_b4's picture

Just made this with a few alterations and it was delicious! Didn't have any lentils so threw in some chickpeas instead and added some chunks of carrot. Also added some green olives and chopped pickled lemons once cooked to finish off...oh and chopped flat leaf parsley instead of mint. Will defo do again.

Angelica Mercieca Ciantar's picture

Made this after reading comments so I made a few changes: I had 7 pieces of boneless chicken thighs, I reduced the mentioned spices just a little bit. I did not add oil to fry the onion, the pan was still glazed with some fat from the chicken. I added a couple of apricots less and added a little bit more lentils. I added some smoked and hot paprika and some Ras el Hanout spice mix. I also added red and green bell peppers to the mix. I used frozen but you can add fresh ones and fry them after the onion for a bit. I added some black pepper too. I reduced the stock to 450ml. I cooked mine covered on the stove top and simmered everything for an hour. Super tasty and delicious! Chicken was very tender and sauce very tasty! I served mine with a side of red and white quinoa and bulgar mix.

CookingCopper's picture

I'm not a huge fan of apricots, but this recipe is delicious. I used chicken breast instead of thighs. The meat was lovely and tender. Beautiful rich flavours, perfect with cous cous. I'll definitely be cooking is again.

BeccaJThomas's picture

Lovely and flavoursome, good rich sauce. I didn't serve with couscous, but made the chickpea, aubergine and walnut yoghurt sauce as an accompaniment , which was also the main course for a vegetarian guest. I'll make it again

shawski's picture

Delicious meal. Chicken was so tender the meat just fell off the bone. The subtle flavours and extremely soft apricots were lovely. Will be making this again.

rwalmsley's picture

So tasty, when I read the comments I was in two minds whether to make it BUT so glad I did. Very flavoursome. 10/10

sgrech's picture

Like Moroccan chicken, tasty enough and good for you. Think this is going to become a regular in our household.

angelfish257's picture

Really disappointed - followed this recipe to the letter and the outcome was pretty tasteless. Was not as rich and flavoursome as I was hoping for, the end result was just a bit 'meh' - which is a real shame as I've tried out lots of good food recipes with usually pretty good results. Won't be trying this one again.

frowne's picture

Whilst this was tasty, I felt there was way too much liquid after the oven. I think perhaps next time I'll do it without the lid on the stove top

spangle9's picture

Really enjoyed this. Easy to make. Clean plates all round. Will def makd again :-)

jilly27's picture

I used chicken thighs on the bone which worked well in terms of tenderness and taste but would remove the skin next time as there was a lot of fat to be poured off. I also added a 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon for a bit of extra warmth in the spices and a teaspoon of smoked paprika.It went down very well with my guests but I will put more smoked paprika in next time as more spiceyness would have been welcome.

bschaldon's picture

The quantities of spices seem large, but in fact the dish worked well. I used free-range chicken breasts which came out beautifully tender. Excellent.

vosmanagic's picture

Delicious, easy to make

vosmanagic's picture

Delicious cake, easy to make. Everyone loved it :)


Questions (0)

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Tips (1)

mrspinnywinny's picture

Let the cooked dish 'mature' a couple of days in the fridge before you eat it.

You can thicken the sauce with a tablespoon of couscous.