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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31st Aug, 2012
Can you use ground coriander rather than ground coriander seeds or am I being silly and they are actually the same thing?
20th Apr, 2012
Loved it! I used breasts, smoked paprika and a tin of lentils as substitutes plus added a second cinnamon stick and two star anise. Served it with couscous that had lemon zest and juice added and a handful of currants. Complimented it nicely without competing on the palate. Little Miss Three loved it too.
19th Feb, 2012
This was really good, i didnt alter any ingredients; kept them as they are and my wife sure loved this!
17th Jan, 2012
I doubled the ingredients to serve eight adults and used thigh and drumsticks with the meat still on the bone. The sauce didn't really thicken for me - probably could have done with a few more minutes in the oven. Still very tasty. Good for low effort entertaining.
12th Jan, 2012
Didn't read the recipe properly so ended up frying the spices with the chicken rather than using as a rub. Replaced the ground coriander with sumac and added a chopped yellow pepper with the onions. Having read other reviews only used 500ml of stock; cooked in the slow cooker on low for 7 hours. Absolutely delicious, will definitely make again.
26th Dec, 2011
Delicious though I did add a bit more spice. Quorn chicken style pieces make a good vegetarian alternative.
susannahgrammar's picture
13th Dec, 2011
Might be one of my favourite recipes here so far! Following previous comments, I added some spicy paprika instead of sweet and less apricots. The former was with good result, but I would have liked a bit more fruit flavour than I had. Also used chicken on the bone and some courgettes and carrots - spicy, melt-in-your-mouth results! Will be a longtime family favourite for sure.
26th Oct, 2011
It is so easy and we all loved it.
22nd Oct, 2011
Soooo tasty! Done this to the letter, had no problems at all, the lentils make for a lovely thick sauce. Well received by the family and will definitely be making again, Served this with basmati and wild rice, with green beans on the side, Delicious
3rd Oct, 2011
Great dish! So easy to make with minimum hassle. I used half the stated apricots as my boyfriend doesn't like super sweet food, and added a tsp of chilli powder for a kick. Super saucy which we like and perfect with rice. Will definitely do again.


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