Moroccan-style chicken with lentils

Moroccan-style chicken with lentils

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(77 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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CookingCopper's picture
15th Feb, 2014
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.
12th Jan, 2014
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
31st Oct, 2013
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.
29th Aug, 2013
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
25th Aug, 2013
Like Moroccan chicken, tasty enough and good for you. Think this is going to become a regular in our household.
4th Aug, 2013
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.
3rd Aug, 2013
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
10th Jun, 2013
Really enjoyed this. Easy to make. Clean plates all round. Will def makd again :-)
8th Jun, 2013
Loved it!!
30th May, 2013
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.


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