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)

nuskin's picture

Made this for the first time today. My husband thinks its a 5 star recipe but I would give it 4. I too only used 500ml of stock and less apricots, I didn't have a cinammon stick but as I hate cinammon with savoury it didn't matter anyway. I didn.t have mint either but it was lovely just the same. I cooked it on the hob in half the time and the sauce was lovely and thick I will freeze the rest for next time. It looked just like the picture! We had brown rice with it.

natasha4tony's picture

Lovely recipe I adapted it for the slow cooker - simply replace step 3 cook for 1 1/2 hrs with cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 on high - yummy!

snowden91's picture

I replaced the lentils with chickpeas and added rosemary and chunky bits of yellow bell pepper, turned out really lovely and not too sweet.

clionaf's picture

I made this with the yellow rice recipe and it was a great combination. Very tasty, would def make again if only my daughter liked it (hubby and I both loved it). I used raisins as I didn't have any apricots, and ground cinnamon because I didn't have stick cinnamon.

same965's picture

Very tasty. At the end it needs lots of attention not to be caught in the pan. I think that less apricot is enough.

renatelong's picture

Sorry meant to give this 5 stars

renatelong's picture

Always a winner. Have made this for many years now. I make this the night before so you can really taste the flavours. I use half the stock and cook it very slowly for a couple of hours in the oven. Will keep making it!!

swaber's picture

loved this. left out peaches and added red peppers it whent down a storm

lansdown12's picture

Found this a bit uninspiring flavour wise, followed the recipe to the letter and then read the comments.

If I do it again I'll add more seasoning and spice. could also do with something sharp to lift it a bit

Kamikaze's picture

I've made this a few times and it's lovely.

archangelrich's picture

I really liked this. The first time I did this I found it a bit too sweet, so the second time added some peppers and grated carrots, upped the lentil content and cut down the apricots. I agree with emmawilki - the Ras el Hanout spice mix was much better as well (and I'd strongly recommend that brand - I've not had much success with other Moroccan style spice mixes!).

emmawilki's picture

Gorgeous meal. Used Ras el Hanout spice (from Seasoned Pioneers site) instead of cinnamon stick, and that seemed to make it really authentic. Halved the amount of apricots, and only used 500ml of stock. Cooked uncovered and the sauce thickened up really well. Children wanted the pureed sauce turning into some sort of soup, so will see what I can come up with!

rhudson's picture

This recipe is really authentic and was a real winner with my family. I reduced the amount of stock and popped it all into the slo cooker for about 5-6 hours on medium - the flavours were awesome! Very nice.

rhudson's picture

This recipe is really authentic and was a real winner with my family. I reduced the amount of stock and popped it all into the slo cooker for about 5-6 hours on medium - the flavours were awesome! Very nice.

webbs117's picture

have made this about 4 times now and each time is lovely.i never add mint and i also only put in about 4-6 apricots.use thighs on the bone as they have so much more flavour,although breasts are ok if you haven't got time.i bulk up with a few carrots too.when i've dished the kids up i then add hot chilli powder to whats left for hubby and me.i've served with rice and cous cous before,both just as nice.although tonight i'm going to add garlic and parsley to my cous cous just for something different.

ashleyr51's picture

Yummy! A very easy one pot wonder. I used chicken breasts instead of thighs. Served it with roasted veg cous cous. Will add to my repertoire.

fluffyblueberry's picture

...oh thought I'd mention though that the sauce was a little thin, but I just put it back on the hob and mixed in a little corn flour and it was fine. Also only added about 2/3 of the apricots - felt that was definitely enough. Aso used regular paprika, which was fine.

fluffyblueberry's picture

I was shocked how much I enjoyed it. It was very mild, I may have added more spice but I was also feeding a one year old and a three year old, (the 3yr old is v.fussy)...however, both children loved it. I did pulse theirs in the blender a couple of times, (3yr old fussy about any stringy bits of chicken) and mixed it with some rice rather than couscous. I will DEFINITELY be making again.

jeanius's picture

we all oved this. Next time might up the spices a little but was really delicious.

janemariebrown's picture

Excellent: cheap, very easy and liked by everyone in my house


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