Starring richly spiced, aromatic, lemony chicken cooked to tender perfection, the Moroccan Chicken Skillet captures the deep and addictive flavors of its home country. Whether you serve it over rice, flatbreads, or by itself, each bite of the chicken is mouth-wateringly memorable with notes of garlic, paprika, and the subtle sweetness of saffron. The Moroccan Chicken Skillet so perfectly balances tangy, sweet, and savory flavors that you may have trouble making small talk at the table; it’s so delicious you'll only want to focus on eating it!
IngredientsFor the spice rub: • 5 cloves garlic, minced • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika • 1/2 teaspoon cumin • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric • salt, to taste • pepper, to taste For the dish: • 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 2 medium onions, sliced • 1 cinnamon stick • 2/3 cup Kalamata olives, optional, pitted and roughly chopped • 2/3 cup Castelvetrano olives, optional, pitted and roughly chopped • 1 large preserved lemon, sliced • 1 cup chicken stock • 2 tablespoons preserved lemon juice • fresh parsley, optional, chopped, for topping
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin, turmeric, salt, and pepper to create the spice rub.
Set the chicken thighs in a large bowl and pour the spice mix over top, rubbing the spices into the chicken. Make sure every side and surface of the chicken is covered.
Refrigerate the chicken for 3-4 hours. This allows time for the rub to develop in flavor on the chicken (you can always let it marinate for longer if desired).
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add in the chicken, browning it on both sides.
Remove the chicken from the heat and set it on a plate. The meat does not have to be cooked fully at this stage; you are simply browning it to develop a roasted flavor.
Add the onions into the skillet, cooking until browned and softened, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the cinnamon stick to the onions, then place the chicken back on top.
Pour the olives all over the chicken.
Add in the preserved lemons.
Separately mix the preserved lemon juice and chicken stock in a small bowl and then pour the mixture into the skillet. Cover for 30 minutes, letting everything simmer on low heat.
Remove the skillet from the heat. If you have a meat thermometer, the chicken should read 165 degrees F in the thickest part.
If desired, garnish with fresh parsley before serving!