Crispy, juicy, spicy, and sweet….sign me up. This recipe for Moroccan roast chicken with figs, lemons, olives, and almonds is a wonderful hybrid between a tagine and traditional roasted chicken.
So, I was really craving a tagine, which is a slow cooked stew that originated in the north african region. Tagine stews typically have some type of meat or vegetables, mixed with olives, preserved lemons, almonds, and something sweet like plums or prunes. I wanted these flavors but I wanted more of a roast chicken dish with crispy skin, and voila…this dish was born.
- Organic chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks, skin on or off is fine)
- olives (I used kalamata, but you can use any kind you’d like)
- fresh figs (or dried)
- almonds (preferably unsalted)
- 2 organic lemons
- 2 tsp of cumin
- 2 tsp of paprika
- 1 pinch of cayenne
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp of turmeric
- salt and pepper to taste
- avocado oil (for marinade and grill pan)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and heat up a grill pan on the stove to medium-high heat. (Note: the searing in the pan is not necessary; I just wanted to ensure crispy skin on the chicken, so I took this extra step. If you don’t want to take this extra step, just ignore everything regarding the grill pan and go straight to putting the chicken in the oven)
Take your chicken pieces and in a big bowl mix them with avocado oil (enough to coat them) salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper. Make sure the pieces are coated in the oil and spices and let this marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, cut up one lemon into thin slices and line the bottom of your pan with them (I used a classic 9 by 13 inch glass pan). These lemons will cradle the chicken and infuse them with that great lemony flavor and they will get so roasted that they will soften and can be eaten with the chicken.
Make sure your grill pan on the stove (or regular pan) is very hot (medium high heat) and coated with avocado oil and then put the chicken on for about 3-4 minutes on each side to sear them and brown them up to ensure they get crispy while locking in the flavor. When finished, set them aside.
Here is the chicken ready to go into the oven:
Next, add the chopped figs, olives, almonds, and cilantro throughout; and more lemon slices if you’d like, plus squeeze lemon juice on top of the chicken. Put the chicken into the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Can be eaten with any sides of your choice, I chose cauliflower rice and some dairy-free tzatziki. Make sure to spoon all of the cooked olives, almonds, figs, lemons, and juices onto your chicken.
One Reply to “Moroccan roast chicken with figs, lemons, olives, and almonds”
Thanks, I like it when people try something creative rather than simply recycling other people’s recipes
Our fig tree, has a big crop, so I was looking online for a Maghreb or Middle Easter recipe for chicken and figs and your idea worked well.
It’s the sort of recipe you can riff on and I used a scrawny, but really flavoursome, French farmyard chicken that I bought on the local market this morning.The people who raised it don’t call it ‘organic’ because they’re elderly and pre-organic – their chickens are just raised the way that they have been for many centuries (interestingly the carcass doesn’t contain any fat, unlike even supermarket, top grade Label Rouge poulet férmiér). These chicken had to do some scratching around to survive and taste all the better for it!
We don’t have avo oil so marinated the poulet in local olive oil and ras el hanout rather than your spice mix; also substituted preserved lemons and added some tiny red onions (halved) that effectively bridged the flavour spectum between the olives and the figs.
There’s a recent NYT recipe for sheet pan chicken with fresh peaches that has similar principles, t yours with figs – if yu don’t know of it , might care to check it out