Moroccan-style chicken with lentils

Moroccan-style chicken with lentils

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(99 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



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

  • 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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alexjojo's picture
15th Jun, 2019
Wonderfully flavoursome recipe and sooo easy! I replaced the lentils with chickpeas as I love chickpeas and also added a yellow and orange pepper - needs a little more stock - so tasty!!! This will be a regular and a favourite! Thank you!!!'s picture
21st Jul, 2018
I made this and changed it slightly. I added 100g of lentils, 500ml of stock as per the other comments, a red pepper and I omitted the apricot as my partner doesn’t like fruit in curries, etc. I used mini chicken breasts and laid them into the sauce raw and let the oven cook them slowly. It was delicious and even better the next day so I’d recommend making it and leaving it overnight! I served with couscous and coriander.
26th Mar, 2018
Very Nice Indeed! I doubled up on the spices and used Tomato Puree instead of Ketchup, I also added one Red and one Yellow Pepper. It really was very good in flavour and I am really critical as a rule. Definitely a keeper!
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.


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.
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