Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

♫ Would you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh express ♪

Moroccan chicken, my favorite! Chicken thighs, rubbed in more spices than you would ever think you could use at once, cooked until tender with olives and lemons.

This is a slow cooker riff off our popular tagine recipe. Boneless skinless chicken thighs are sprinkled with paprika, ginger, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and more, placed on a bed of chopped onions, and slow cooked with green olives, lemon slices, and raisins until fork tender.

The spice list is long, if you are missing one or two, don’t stress about it. Feel free to experiment with the amounts and find what works for you.

I do love the subtle addition of crushed fennel seeds, and I recommend not going overboard with cinnamon, which can be bitter in large amounts.

If you don’t want raisins or dried fruit, add a cup of sliced carrots the last hour of cooking.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

We are using boneless (and skinless) chicken thighs for this recipe only because they're easier to deal with. Feel free to use bone-in thighs (you'll need 2 1/2 pounds) if you prefer.

You can substitutes dates or prunes for the raisins.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (don't trim all the fat, just large pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped, about 2 cups
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

Method

1 Salt the chicken thighs: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt over the chicken thighs. Let sit while you prep the other ingredients.

2 Whisk the spices together: Whisk together the spices in a small bowl—the paprika, ground ginger, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, allspice, crushed fennel seeds, and nutmeg.

3 Layer onions, chicken, spices, garlic, olives, raisins, lemon slices in slow cooker: Place chopped onions at the bottom of a slow cooker bowl. Layer the chicken thighs on top of the onions. As you layer the chicken thighs, sprinkle them all over with the spice mix. (Use all of the spice mix.)

Add the garlic, green olives, raisins, and lemon slices.

4 Cook in slow cooker: Cook on the high setting of the slow cooker for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or 4 to 5 hours on the low setting (depending on your slow cooker brand). Towards the end of cooking, stir so that the lemons olives and raisins get mixed into the liquid. The chicken is done when it is fall apart tender.

Serve with couscous or rice (use rice if cooking gluten-free). Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or parsley.

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Links:

Cuisinart Programmable Slow Cooker on Amazon

Moroccan Chicken with Lemons and Olives here on Simply Recipes

Moroccan Spiced Grilled Chicken Breasts here on Simply Recipes

One Pot Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas and Pistachios from Half Baked Harvest

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

Showing 4 of 70 Comments

  • Hayley

    I made this tonight but adapted the recipe slightly:

    -cooked in the oven in a dutch oven for 1 hour (325F) and 25 mins (400F)
    -added 3/4 cup of chicken stock at the beginning
    -added a can of chickpeas (drained) and some carrots at the beginning, and it was a nice addition since I usually only like a small portion of meat

  • Mel

    Tonight is my 4th time making this dazzling dish. I have tweeked with different dried fruits and different olives….alf fine including the original. BUT, I concluded after the first go that it does absolutely needs more liquid. We like to put some of the tasty juices over our rice. So, I now add a cup of lo/so chicken broth and that combined with the natural juices is perfect.

  • a pinch of salt

    I liked the simplicity of this recipe, but found the lemon to be bitter. To counteract the bitterness, I added some chicken broth and honey. I’d suggest using a cinnamon stick instead of ground cinnamon. I wound up finishing the dish in a dutch oven on the stove, and am planning to freeze it. For dishes like this one, freezing often enhances the flavors.

  • Ana

    Has anyone tried in a pressure cooker? Could you make in one pot with couscous in pressure cooker? Wondering about cooking time?

  • Laura

    I made this recipe today using lamb instead of chicken, and it turned out great. I didn’t have allspice or fennel on hand, but the other spices worked well without the remaining two. Given some people said their food was dry, I checked at an hour and a half into cooking on high, in case I needed to add some liquid, and the mixture was amply moist on its own. This is a recipe I will definitely make again–thank you!

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