Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

Slow CookerMoroccan CuisineChickenTurmeric

Don't have a tagine? Make Moroccan chicken in a slow cooker, it's easy! Chicken thighs, plenty of spices, onions, green olives, lemons, raisins, cooked low and slow until fall apart tender.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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101 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Ren

    Is there really no salt and no liquid added when preparing this meal?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Katherine

    Could I use half boneless skinless chicken breasts and half boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe? And if so, how would it alter the results/flavor of the final product?

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Dave

    Hey Elise,

    I like to experiment with different cuisines and this certainly looks like a winner. The Significant Other does not like dark meat and I want to make this with boneless , skinless chicken breasts (same poundage). My first impression is to cube the breasts to one inch square in lieu for the thighs and follow the balance of the recipe. Would this work or do you have another suggestion?

    Show Replies (1)
  4. theresa

    I’m making this now. It smells wonderful. I wonder if the problem others might have had with the lemon peel is that this dish is usually made with preserved lemons. I’ve used those a lot and always have a jar in the fridge. And the peel is more tangy than bitter, at least to my taste.

  5. Lisa

    I’ve made this twice now and love it! I serve it with cous cous and slivered almonds. I didn’t have any problems with dryness, and, unlike some others, liked the lemon slices with the rind. I used my mandolin to slice the lemon super thin and it turned out delicious.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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