A Taste of Morocco

This delectable recipe from Susan Spungen of Food and Wine takes the flavors of a spice market in Northern Africa and merges them into a chicken dish that is beautifully balanced with a sweetness of dried apricots and honey, a savory texture of shallots and green olives and a pungent aroma that brings to mind the smells and sights of Marrakesh. Gorgeous on the plate and lively on the palate, this is a recipe worth repeating!

Moroccan Chicken with Apricot-and-Olive Relish (Serves 4)


  • ¼ cup eucalyptus honey
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sweet pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs on the bone, with skin (2 3/4 pounds)
  • Boiling water
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 medium shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 20 green olives (such as Cerignola or Picholine, pitted)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro



  1. In a bowl, whisk the honey with 1/4 cup of the canola oil and the lemon juice, grated ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, pimentón, cayenne, salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken in a glass baking dish. Pour the marinade on top and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning once.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Drain the chicken and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet; reserve the marinade. Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the foil and discard any juices from the baking sheet.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, pour boiling water over the apricots to cover and let stand until plump, 8 minutes; drain.
  4. In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until softened, 6 minutes. Add the apricots, olives and the reserved marinade and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately high heat until the marinade is thickened and glazes the apricots and olives, 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.
  5. Turn on oven broiler or preheat a grill pan. Broil or grill the chicken over moderately high heat, turning once, until charred in spots and the skin is crisp, 6 minutes. Transfer to plates, top with the apricot-olive relish and serve.


Serve With


Special Note: Feature Image for this blog post courtesy of Rudy and Peter Skitterians at Pixabay.