Genève’s Kitchen

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Rockin’ Moroccan

June 11th, 2006 · 9 Comments

moroccan chix.jpgThis Moroccan-style chicken recipe will send the aromas of exotic spices all through your house. If you are looking for a new recipe to “spice up” your old stand-by chicken dish, here’s just the thing. While spicy in flavor, it’s not at all hot – the spicy flavor comes from cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and a little bit of cayenne pepper. Olive oil and red wine vinegar help round out the flavors. This is such a simple marinade – the longer you let the chicken bask in the richness of the spices, the more flavorful the chicken. Whether you grill this outside or cook it on your stove – this will be an exotic departure from your regular everyday chicken. I serve this with couscous in keeping with the Moroccan theme.

Moroccan Style Chicken with Couscous

For the marinade:

1 Cup olive oil
1/2 Cup red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground coriander
2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 Teaspoons salt
2 Teaspoons sugar
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper

You can use this marinade for any kind of chicken you like: legs, breast, tenders. I usually buy chicken breast and either cut into 1 inch pieces to make kabobs or I’ll cut the chicken into strips and put them on sticks (the sticks are totally unnecessary – I just do it for effect sometimes). Cooking them as they are is great too.

Also, this makes plenty of marinade so you can easily make this for a crowd.

1) Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a medium-sized bowl (or large bowl if you plan to make a lot of chicken) and stir to combine. I reserve 1/4 Cup of this marinade for flavoring the couscous – set aside before adding the chicken. Add the chicken and stir so that all the chicken is coated in the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for a 1/2 hour or longer. The longer it marinates the more flavorful the chicken!

2) Cook the marinated chicken on a grill outside or cook inside in a pan on your stove over medium to hot heat. To test when the pan is ready I flick a little water onto the pan and if there is an immediate sizzle sound then you know it’s ready to go! Make sure to allow the excess marinade to drip off the chicken before placing in the pan – you can even use a paper towel to remove the excess. This is especially important when cooking with a pan because on a grill the excess will drip down into the flames, but in a pan the excess marinade will cook the chicken differently (it’ll boil instead of fry). Also, I find that the marinated chicken cooks really well without oil added to the pan.

For the couscous:

1 Cup of dried couscous (follow instructions on the box)
The juice of one lemon
1/4 Cup of the Moroccan marinade from above
1/4 Cup chopped cucumber
1/4 Cup chopped grape tomatoes or regular tomatoes – whichever you have
Salt to taste
1) Make the couscous according to the directions on the box.

2) Chop the cucumber and grape tomatoes.

3) When the couscous is finished cooking but is still warm use a fork to fluff it up and add it to a medium to large bowl. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, lemon juice, and the marinade that was set aside. Stir together and taste. Add salt if necessary.

Serve this couscous with the chicken and enjoy!

Tags: Chicken · Entertaining · Entree

9 responses so far ↓

  • Tanna // Jun 11, 2006 at 9:54 pm

    I like using the 1/4 c marinade in the couscous, really makes sense. What’s the longest time you’ve let the chicken marinade, can it be too long?

  • Geneve // Jun 11, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    I’m never as organized as I want to be so I end up marinating the chicken the same day that I plan to cook it. When I start marinating it in the afternoon by the time evening rolls around it’s great – it’s still good though even if you only give it an hour or 1/2 hour. Making the night before would be great. As far as the rule of thumb for what is too long – I wasn’t sure but found several websites that listed 2 days as the maximum amount of time. Here’s one of them:
    Hope that helps!

  • Sherri // Jun 12, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    You gave me this recipe about 4 years ago !
    I like it a lot ! Easy and different.
    Aloha from Hawaii !

  • Grace // Jun 15, 2006 at 12:25 pm

    Deej, this looks sensational. Can’t wait to try it!

    As far as marinating goes, everyone’s got their theory, but in general, red meats require the longest marinade time, chicken you can do a day or a few hours in advance, and most seafood shouldn’t be marinated for for that two hours.


  • Sherri // Jun 15, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Grace :)
    I made this again tonight, it’s been a while !
    First time cooking for my husband (and I screwed up the rice !! god damn rice cooker !). I used 1/4 cup of olive oil and it was way more than enough for 2 chicken breasts, probably enough for 4. I marinaded for 1/2 hr.
    The chicken was very juicy and Lee was a big fan !
    Bring more recipes on !
    This one is great cause it uses the closet staples, so when your lazy ass comes back from your honeymoon and you don’t have groceries, you can make this :)

  • Geneve // Jun 15, 2006 at 6:17 pm

    Grace – This is totally up your alley, you’ll love it.
    Thanks for the info. on the marinating!

    Sherri – Welcome home!!! I’m so honored that you cooked a recipe from my blog for your first meal back from your honeymoon. I’m insanely jealous of your trip – the photos look amazing!!!

  • Sherri // Jun 15, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    I’m insanely jealous you only live 5 hours from Hawaii.

  • Laura // Jun 21, 2006 at 5:13 pm


    This was a great, and yet another, easy meal to prepare! Love the fresh veggies in the couscous with a touch of the marinade – I would never have thought to do that. The spice, especially the hint of cinnamon in the marinade, was perfect!

  • Bea // Jul 6, 2006 at 10:55 am

    We made this recipe a little while ago and it was sooo easy to do! I love the simple and healthy recipes, keep them coming! The extra marinade was really great on the cous cous as well.