Pressure Cooker Moroccan Chicken

Chicken

Ras el hanout—a Moroccan spice blend—brings deep flavors to this pressure cooker Instant Pot dish. It's made with chicken thighs, olives, lemon, garlic, onions and raisins.

Photography Credit: Coco Morante

On weeknights, I am all about the boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They’re easy to prepare and always end up juicy no matter how they’re cooked.

Elise makes a recipe for Moroccan chicken using the slow cooker that is absolutely fantastic, but I wanted to adapt it for the pressure cooker so I could make it at a moment’s notice on a busy weeknight.

What is Ras el Hanout?

In her slow cooker version of this recipe, Elise describes the spice blend used in her recipe as “more spices than you would ever think you could use at once.” She’s talking about Ras el Hanout, a typical blend of spices used in a lot of Moroccan cuisine—and she’s right!

Ras el hanout is a blend of sweet and savory spices including paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, among others. You can buy pre-mixed ras el hanout spice blends, but in the recipe below, I’ve listed out the individual spices in case you can’t find it.

Chicken in the Pressure Cooker with Moroccan Spices

Moroccan Chicken in the Pressure Cooker

To adapt Elise’s recipe for the pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot!), I started off by sautéing the onions and garlic for a few minutes, then stirring in the spices to release their complex aromas.

I also added some chicken broth to the recipe, so that there would be enough liquid for the pot to come up to pressure. (If you’re using a 6-quart pressure cooker, you’ll need at least a cup of liquid for the pot to come to pressure.)

What to Serve with Moroccan Chicken

You can do a quick pressure release and serve the chicken right away, of course, but this recipe also does fine if you need to leave it on the warm setting for a little while, although after an hour or two, the texture of the chicken might become overly soft.

Serve the chicken thighs with rice, couscous, riced cauliflower, or zucchini noodles for an easy meal.

Bonus Tip! Use the Pot-in-Pot Method to Cook Rice

This recipe works well if you want to cook the rice along with the chicken using what is called the “pot-in-pot” method! Here’s what to do:

  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups white rice in a 1 1/2-quart stainless steel bowl (like this one). Season with salt if you like (1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon).
  2. Set the bowl aside and proceed with the recipe.
  3. After stirring the chicken thighs in with the other ingredients, place a raised steam rack (like this one) on top of the chicken, making sure its legs touch the bottom of the pot. Put the bowl of rice on top.
  4. When the cooking program ends and you’ve opened the pot, use heat-resistant mitts to lift out the bowl of rice and the steam rack. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve with the chicken.

More Pressure Cooker Chicken Recipes

 

Pressure Cooker Moroccan Chicken Recipe

Print
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

For stovetop pressure cookers: Follow the instructions as written, but decrease pressure cooking time to 12 minutes.

For pot-in-pot method of cooking rice alongside this dish: See headnotes.

Recipe tester notes: This recipe also works just as well with black olives or with golden raisins. Next time, I might sprinkle some chopped almonds on top, as well! ~Emma

Ingredients

For the Ras el Hanout spice blend (or substitute 2 tablespoons store-bought blend):

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup pitted green olives (with or without pimentos)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced thinly, seeds removed
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

To Serve:

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and/or parsley

Special equipment:

Method

1 Make the spice blend: In a small bowl, stir together the spices and salt.

2 Cook the onions, garlic, and spices: Select your pressure cooker’s “Sauté” setting and heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are softened and the garlic is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices and cook for one more minute.

Morrocan Chicken in the Pressure Cooker cook the onions

3 Add the remaining ingredients and pressure cook: Pour in the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pot release any browned spices. Stir in the olives, raisins, lemon slices, and chicken thighs.

Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure the pressure release valve is set to its “Sealing” position. Select the “Poultry,” “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” setting, and set the time to 15 minutes at high pressure.

When the cooking program ends, either perform a quick pressure release by moving the pressure valve to its “Venting” position, or let the pressure release naturally and leave the chicken on your pressure cooker’s warming setting until ready to serve.

Pressure Cooker Chicken with Spices add the chicken and olives  Pressure Cooker Chicken with Spices release the pressure

4 Serve: Sprinkle the chicken with chopped cilantro and/or parsley, and serve it with rice, couscous, riced cauliflower, or zucchini noodles.

Moroccan Chicken in the Pressure Cooker

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Pressure Cooker Moroccan Chicken on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Print

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Coco Morante

Author of The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook. A self-taught cook and classically-trained soprano, Coco Morante writes and sings in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and their beagle. For more recipes, visit her blog, Lefty Spoon.

More from Coco

6 Comments / Reviews

No ImagePressure Cooker Moroccan Chicken

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Harah

    I wish I was eating this for lunch today – it looks so healthy and delicious!

  2. Foodiewife

    This was very flavorful. I have a big jar of Ras el hanout, and I used 2 Tbps. (next time I might use a bit less as it was a bit overpowering). The only changes I made was to saute the chicken to get fond in the pot. I was happy to find a use for the preserved lemons that I had made. Then I sauteed the onions, garlic and then the spices. I added the chicken back in. I am not a fan of olives, unfortunately, so I added dried apricots and prunes instead. I served it over couscous and loved it! So fast and easy.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Jane

    I was disappointed, the lemon made the dish very bitter. I had to add some sweet peppers and a little sugar to make eatable.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. nvrm

    Amazing taste!
    But I’ll stick to my regular pot and longer cooking next time, because 15 minutes isn’t enough for the chicken to get infused with all the spices, and the whole dish tastes a bit imbalanced. After turning off the pressure and tasting, I let it simmer for another 20-30 minutes and it tasted much better.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Rhonda @ Change In Seconds

    I plan on making this on the weekend for my dinner party.

  6. Peter

    I made this today as I have a batch of Moroccan Preserved Lemons in the pantry that I made at Christmas that I am always looking for ways to use. I was able to find Ras el hanout at my local grocery store.

    This was delicious, and with the Pot in Pot Rice as well it was an easy clean up.

    xxxxxyyyyy

Moroccan Chicken in the Pressure CookerPressure Cooker Moroccan Chicken