Moroccan-style chicken with lentils

Moroccan-style chicken with lentils

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(78 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 cloves, 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, questions and tips

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1st Dec, 2017
Super delicious! Added more lentils to make a thicker sauce. 10/10 going to make again!
Iain beg MacAndrew
22nd Jul, 2017
Lovely meal. Unlike others I didn't read the comments before making this and made mm own ada[potations. Instead of red lentils I used Puy lentils and found the sauce to be a reasonable consistency. I also used tomato puree rather than ketchup and rather more than 1 table spoonful and used halved breasts instead of thighs and served it with sweet potato mash.. My wife, who has a number of intolerance and other problems thoroughly enjoyed it
14th Dec, 2016
One word yummy
7th Sep, 2016
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!
1st Jun, 2016
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.
10th Oct, 2015
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
9th Sep, 2015
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.
4th Sep, 2015
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.
13th May, 2015
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 Mercie...
15th Oct, 2014
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.


13th Nov, 2017
Has anyone tried this in a slow cooker? Thank you :)
20th Mar, 2014
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.