Moroccan roast chicken with apricots

Moroccan roast chicken with apricots

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(4 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 50 mins Plus 1-2 days marinating


Serves 6
Come rain or shine, serve up this sumac-marinated spatchcocked bird, that can be barbecued or oven cooked, with a sweet, fruity accompaniment

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze before cooking

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal677
  • fat41g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs19g
  • sugars17g
  • fibre3g
  • protein55g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 2 small chicken



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 6 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…

  • small bunch coriander
  • 2 tbsp sumac (see tip, below)



    This wine-coloured ground spice is one of the most useful but least known and most…

  • 1 tbsp cumin seed
  • 1 tbsp fennel seed
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • zest and juice 2 lemons



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 250g natural yogurt, mixed with 1-2 pinches saffron, to serve

For the apricots

  • 12 apricots, halved and stoned



    A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…

  • 2 preserved lemons, rinsed, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar


  1. Spatchcock the chickens – see tip, below, or ask your butcher to do it for you. Put the olive oil, coriander, sumac, cumin, fennel, chilli, garlic, lemon zest and juice, pomegranate molasses and some ground black pepper into a food processor or blender, and whizz to a paste. Divide between 2 large food bags, add a chicken to each, then squeeze out the air and seal before giving everything a good squelch to coat thoroughly. Marinate for 24-48 hrs in the fridge, turning and squishing every so often.

  2. Fire up a barbecue and let the flames die down, or heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Lift the chicken out of the bags and season well with salt. Barbecue or roast the chicken for 25-30 mins on each side until crisp and cooked through. Set aside on a platter, loosely cover with foil, to rest while you do the apricots. If you roasted rather than barbecued, keep the tin juices warm for serving.

  3. Put the apricots in a small, snug roasting tin. Whisk the preserved lemon, honey, orange blossom and vinegar with some seasoning. Pour over the apricots and roast, or sit on the barbecue, for 20 mins until soft.

  4. Serve the chicken with any cooking juices, the apricots and saffron yogurt.

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Comments, questions and tips

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5th Jun, 2014
Loved the chicken, packed full of flavour, but watch for cooking, even though we cooked for ages on our gas BBQ, the meat around the thighs bones and knuckles was still pink. Have cooked this in the oven too and enjoyed it as much. Not keen on the apricots, very sharp and overpowering even though they were very ripe.
26th Aug, 2013
Sometimes you marinade things for ages and the flavour just doesn't get through - not the case here! It wasn't the weather for a BBQ sadly, so roasted the chickens (two 1.6kg chickens roasted in a fan oven at 170 degrees C for about 2 hours). Then carved them and presented on a large platter with the apricots round the edge, meat juices poured over and saffron yoghurt on the side - delish! Not usually a fan of preserved lemons but chopped small like this and mixed with the honey made them a perfect foil for the apricots - have a go! P.S. Sumac and pomegranate molasses both available in supermarkets - molasses in the "international" section of one, and sumac in the interesting spice selection of another.
24th Jun, 2013
Delicious! Don't let the more unusual ingredients it you off as its very easy to make. I sourced the Pommegrante molasses and sumac quite easily on-line. The combination of fragrant chicken, saffron yogurt and roasted apricots is fantastic. Served this with couscous and green beans, and the colours looked great on the plate.
24th Jun, 2013
Delicious! Don't let the slightly unusual ingredients list put you off, as its very easy to make. I sourced Pommegrante molasses and sumac quite easily on-line. The roasted apricots, saffron yogurt and fragrant chicken all go beautifully together, and make a nice change from traditional roast chicken. Served this with couscous and green beans...great flavours and the colours looked good on the plate.
23rd Jun, 2013
I didn't use a whole chicken, just marinated chicken breast chunks in the mixture and the put on kebab stick and grilled. absolutely gorgeous
1st Jul, 2013
Don't see the 'tip below' regarding Sumar.
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
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