Turn plain chicken in to this slow cooked flavour sensation. This melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken is bursting with wonderful North African flavour. Lemon, turmeric, apricots, cinnamon and cumin. All brought together in a really simple slow cooker dish that is warming, comforting, but still nutrient dense. Great for feeding a hungry crowd.
This is one of our favourite chicken dishes, as it just has so much going for it. Tender, shredded chicken, a perfect balance of sweet and salty flavours, chunky vegetables and aromatic Moroccan flavours. The best part about it is it only takes a couple of minutes to prepare. We eat a lot of chicken, as it's easy and everyone in the family likes it, but it can get a bit boring. This one pot wonder is a great way to liven up a chicken dinner a bit, and get plenty of veg too.
Why you will love it
- Low in calories and fat - Just 385 calories per portion
- Only a couple of minutes prep - There is no need to brown the chicken. Just dump everything in and leave.
- Packed with vegetables - You can easily add a lot of vegetables to this dish.
- A new way to jazz up chicken - Don't stick to cooking with chicken the same way all the time. This is an easy way to make it more exciting.
- Family friendly - All the flavours are quite subtle, so it's a good recipe to introduce kids to new herbs and spices.
- Freezes well
- Chicken - We used chicken breasts to keep this dish nice and lean. However you could use boneless and skinless chicken thighs which are juicier and have more flavour.
- Beans - We have bulked the dish out by adding some cannelini beans. Any white beans will work though and you can use chickpeas which are really cheap, or butter beans which are nice and chunky.
- Shallots - These add a nice sweetness to the base of the dish. You could swap them for a small brown onion though.
- Lemon - This lightens the whole dish up and adds a nice freshness.
- Aubergine - An easy way to add some chunky texture. You could swap it for courgette if you prefer.
- Butternut squash - This is another way to bulk the dish out. You could use sweet potato if you prefer.
- Red pepper - For a more intense flavour, use roasted red pepper.
- Ras-al-hanout - This is where all the Moroccan flavour comes from. Make sure the spices haven't been open for more than 6 months, otherwise they won't have much flavour.
- Garlic - Freshly crushed is best, but you could use frozen garlic or from a tube to save some time.
- Apricots - This adds a lovely extra sweetness and they are very popular in Moroccan cooking.
- Chopped tomatoes - This is the base of the sauce. Try to use the best quality tinned tomatoes you can, as the cheaper ones tend to be a bit watery and don't have much flavour.
- Stock - You can use vegetable stock, but chicken stock adds a lovely rich flavour.
- Couscous - The perfect side for a Moroccan dish, and it is stirred in to the stew to make it hearty and filling.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker pot and add the ras-el-hanout.
Two: Add all the other ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
Three: About 15 minutes before time is up, make the couscous according to the packet instructions.
Four: Shred the chicken with two forks and stir in the couscous. Serve in bowl with fresh coriander (cilantro).
If you aren't used to Moroccan flavours, then you are in for a treat. This is fresh, vibrant and bursting with the flavours of the Mediterranean. You will get some sweetness from the tomato and apricot, saltiness from the olives, a little tangy zest from the lemon and then the beautiful mix of herbs and spices.
Cumin, coriander, paprika and turmeric pair together perfectly with some ras-el-hanout, which might just be my favourite spice blend.
We wanted to keep this as traditional as possible, so we used shallots, bell pepper, butternut squash, carrot and aubergine (eggplant). But there is no reason why you can't add other vegetables you might have laying around. We have also used parsnip, leek, courgette (zucchini) and mushroom in the past.
This is a pretty protein packed meal, however if you want to add some extra protein, or use half the chicken and have some veggie protein instead, then why not try adding some chickpeas. Chickpeas add lots of extra texture to the dish and they are used a lot in Moroccan cuisine too.
What to serve it with
We love serving it with light and fluffy couscous. Not only does it keep it traditionally Moroccan, but it's really easy to cook too, with is in-keeping with a slow cooker dish. You could serve it with Lebanese rice or quinoa instead.
You could add some large chunks of sweet potato to the slow cooker with everything else, and then there wouldn't be any need to serve it with anything else. We have served leftovers on mashed potato and even a crispy baked potato, or we just use a big homemade flatbread to dip in it.
Store: Allow to cool completely, then you can store this in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Freeze: You can store it in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Defrost: Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: To reheat, make sure it is thoroughly defrosted and then heat it through in a pan. You may need to add a little bit of water to it when reheating.
Frequently asked questions
Every slow cooker cooks differently, so if you find that your sauce is too thin, then you can cook it for an hour longer with the lid off. You could also add a cornflour slurry, but we find that changes the flavour too much.
There really is no rule here, just make sure that the ingredients you are using can fit in your slow cooker. We use a Crock Pot DuraCeramic Slow Cooker and we love it. What I love most about it is that you can put the bowl insert on the hob too. So, you can cook the onions on the hob, in the slow cooker bowl. I also love that it has a clear lid, as I am so impatient that I want to keep looking and seeing what it is doing. If you don't have a clear lid, then lifting it to see will release lots of the heat and add to the cooking time.
The chicken should be perfectly cooked in the slow cooker after 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. However, we always like to use a food thermometer to check. The cooked temperature of chicken is 75°C/165°F. However, if you don't have a food thermometer, then it is best to use your judgement and stick a knife in it. It shouldn't be pink inside.
Yes, this can all be cooked on the hob and it will take around 35-40 minutes. Just make sure that the chicken is cooked through.
You could leave out the chicken and just have vegetables.
• Add a more intense lemon flavour to this dish by using preserved lemons.
• If you want to add even more fruity flavour to this dish, add some raisins with the dried apricots.
• Finish this dish off with a sprinkling of flaked almonds.
• You may need to add a little bit of water to it when reheating.
• Make sure the spices you are using haven't been sitting in your cupboard for years. If you are using really old spices, they won't have much flavour and you will really notice a lack of flavour in the dish. Opened spices should be used within 6 months ideally.
More chicken recipes
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Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken
- 3 chicken breasts
- 400 g white beans (canned)
- 1 lemon (juice and zest only)
- 4 shallots diced
- 1 aubergine eggplant, diced
- 1 small butternut squash peeled and diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 3 tablespoon ras el hanout
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 8 dried apricots diced
- 150 ml chicken stock
- 400 g chopped tomatoes canned
- 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- 80 g giant couscous
- Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker pot and add the ras-el-hanout.
- Add all the other ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
- About 15 minutes before time is up, make the couscous according to the packet instructions.
- Shred the chicken with two forks and stir in the couscous. Serve in bowls with fresh coriander (cilantro).
- Add a more intense lemon flavour to this dish by using preserved lemons.
- If you want to add even more fruity flavour to this dish, add some raisins with the dried apricots.
- Finish this dish off with a sprinkling of flaked almonds.
- You may need to add a little bit of water to it when reheating.
- Make sure the spices you are using haven't been sitting in your cupboard for years. If you are using really old spices, they won't have much flavour and you will really notice a lack of flavour in the dish. Opened spices should be used within 6 months ideally.