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.

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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.)

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

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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 61 Comments

  • Ron

    I recently retired but my wife still works full-time, so I cook most of our weeknight meals now. Needless to say, I am a novice in the kitchen. While shopping at our little market down the road the woman behind the register told me about this recipe. She had just made and raved about it. So I went home and tried it. We loved it! My wife, who is an awesome cook and baker really was impressed and that made me feel great, too. We had it again last night and it was just as splendid as before. Both times I removed the bone from the thighs and did not have issues with it being dry. This recipe is wonderful and simple enough that even I have success in the kitchen!

  • Debra

    I made this last night and It was delicious. I had all the spices on hand and was happy to use them. I used bone in chicken legs and it cooked a bit faster. The sauce was excellent ( and there was plenty of it) which I served over CousCous made with homemade stock and pinoli nuts. Will definitely make this again.

  • Felishia

    Wow, wow! Now this is good! My husband spent some time in Morocco and said that this tastes almost identical to the meals he had every day. I like the briny bits capers throughout the dish, goes really well with couscous. Just so good!

  • Annette Hegler

    I made this today and LOVED it – every single spice! I rarely cook chicken thighs in a recipe ( not being a fan of dark meat) but I decided to use half boneless chicken breasts and half boneless chicken thighs and it was perfect. With the fairly recent popularity of boneless, skinless thighs, I may become a convert. Although I didn’t really notice that there wasn’t a lot of sauce, after reading people’s comments, a bit more would be nice, it’s so flavorful. I might try the suggestion of a bit of olive oil under the onions. I try lots of recipes and this is definitely one of the best.
    I

  • Kathleen

    I followed the directions to a T and like others have mentioned, it was so dry. Next time I will add chicken broth. Maybe it would be better with skin on – bone in thighs?

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