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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17th May, 2013
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.
10th Mar, 2013
Delicious, easy to make
10th Mar, 2013
Delicious cake, easy to make. Everyone loved it :)
10th Jan, 2013
V nice, used lentils from a tin, no apricots, but half a leek, and used bulgar wheat, similar to couscous, however too much runny liquid that came out of the pot with lid, and all over the oven which I had to clean afterwards. Next time I will try in a big pan on the hob and less stock, if any, as the tin of tomatoes had enough liquid on its own. Also it will save on cooking time.
Paxos Girl
25th Nov, 2012
Andreea.........cook it in the oven for 1 and a half hours once you have returned the chicken to the casserole and added any juices. Ok?
24th Nov, 2012
HELP ! ! ! In the first step it says ''Heat oven to 180C/fan '' but after in doesnt mention anywhere that you need to put it in the oven, from i understand it cooks on the hob for 1 1/5 h . Please help me and tell me how did you cook it, oven or hob ?
3rd Nov, 2012
Great recipe, I actually use hot paprika as like more of a kick
mylococo's picture
19th Sep, 2012
Delicious, will make again and again
dawnscanlon's picture
11th Sep, 2012
Made this time and time again and it's delicious!!
kirstine_e's picture
6th Sep, 2012
After reading other reviews I reduced the apricots to 125g increased lentils to 70g and added a tsp of hot chilli powder and a tsp chilli flakes then replaced the sweet paprika with hot smoked as we like some spice. It was absolutely delicious. I also added some red and yellow peppers for something extra. The sauce was a bit thin but as someone else said just put some cornflour in it was perfect. My husband loved it. Going to make it with lamb next time as think it would work really well. It seems like a very versatile recipe so use it as a base and change things as they would suit you and your family.


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