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Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

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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

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.


  • 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


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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  • 2 tablespoons McCormick® Mixed Pickling Spice
  • 1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken breasts and thighs, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Turmeric
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup (about 6 ounces) pitted dates, quartered

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An Easy Recipe to Throw in the Crockpot that You’ll LOVE!

This is a dish I’ve made for years. Crockpot recipes are just so cozy, and in the fall, I love how the warming smells fill the house reminding me that a delicious and comforting dinner will be ready soon.

The chicken in this dish slowly cooks to be perfect tender, the kind of chicken that just falls apart when pressed with a fork.

Because of my undying love of pumpkin, I decided to try a curry-like pumpkin sauce – cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and a touch of cayenne. Simmered together, this dish is magic!

Ingredients in Crockpot Moroccan Pumpkin Chicken

  • Chicken breasts (or thighs!), cut into pieces
  • Pumpkin puree (fresh is best, but canned works!)
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Onion
  • Spices – Cinnamon, Cumin, Ginger, Turmeric and Cayenne

How to Make Crockpot Pumpkin Chicken

  1. First, saute the onion in a skillet until it’s translucent.
  2. Add the chicken, and brown over high heat. It’s only important to get a little color on the chicken, it doesn’t need to cook all the way through.
  3. Add the salt and spices, and stir to coat chicken and onions.
  4. Add the browned chicken and onions into the crockpot, along with the pumpkin puree and vegetable broth.

Note: I have made this recipe with both fresh pumpkin and pumpkin puree. It is best with fresh pumpkin.

How to make Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken - 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).

Moroccan Flavours

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.

What Chicken Do You Use?

We used chicken breasts as they are nice and lean and then we pulled them apart a little so they were chunks of shredded chicken. It is a nice balance between pulled chicken and chunks of chicken breast.

You don't have to use chicken breast though, you can use thighs or legs instead. Cooking times may vary though - bone in chicken tends to take a bit longer to cook. If you are going to use thighs, sear them in a pan a little first, as it will really lock in the flavours.

What Vegetables Can You Add?

We wanted to keep this as traditional as possible, so we used shallots, bell pepper, butternut squash, carrot and aubergine. But there is no reason why you can't add other vegetables you might have laying around. We have also used parsnip, leek, courgette and mushroom in the past.

What Other Ways Can You Adapt It?

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 Moroccan Chicken 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.

How To Store and Reheat

You can store this in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also store it in the fridge for up to 4 months. 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.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

It’s Slow Cooker Week on A Spicy Perspective! Whoo-hooooooo!! All week long I’ll be sharing easy and inventive slow cooker recipes, starting with this vibrant Moroccan Slow Cooker Chicken.

Who doesn’t love coming home to a house wafting with aromatic fall flavors?

That’s the true charm of a slow cooker.

Yes, you can set it in the morning and it cuts out cook time later in the day. Yes, it’s almost impossible to burn things…

Yet the best thing about a slow cooker is the delicious aroma that overwhelms your senses as you walk in the door.

Secretly, I used to not like slow cooking. My old slow cooker (the one I got as a wedding gift) had seen better days and was completely unreliable.

So I recently replaced it with this stunning KitchenAid Slow Cooker. My new slow cooker is incredible! It has a 24 hour timer and will switch to the “warm” setting if I forget about it.

I love it so much I decided to dedicate a whole week to slow cookers!

Our first slow cooker recipe this week is Moroccan Chicken. This slow cooker chicken is a great way to get your whole family excited about chicken and vegetables.

Moroccan chicken starts with chicken thighs dusted in aromatic spices. The chicken rests on top of the veggies, dried fruit, and almonds, so that all the juices and spices drip down and work their magic below.

Today’s slow cooker chicken recipe is on #OnePotWonder alert! The spicy-sweet combination, will have your family asking for it again and again. (And you will be happy to oblige since it’s so good for them!)

I’ve got another great slow-cooked recipe over on KitchenAid’s Kitchenthusiast Blog today. Make sure to pop over and see!

Moroccan chicken with dates recipe (slow cooker version, too!)

You all know I live in Southern California and perhaps you know we are having a very mild, but super dry winter. We actually have a serious drought happening here. And you might also know that 99% of my entire family lives in the New York/New Jersey area. And they’re having a veerrryy different kind of winter.

So most of our phone calls the last few weeks have been kind of like this:

Sister/Mother/Father: “It’s snowing. AGAIN. The kids are off from school. AGAIN. It’s absolutely freezing out there. Seriously, this is the worst winter EVER!”

Me: “Bummer. But I asked, ‘what’s neeeewwww?'”

Same old, same old. I miss the talks we used to have about currents events, movies, what we’re making for dinner, what we ate for lunch. Interesting, riveting stuff. Instead, it’s all blizzard all the time! Thankfully, winter doesn’t last forever and they’ll all be able to get back to business before we know it. Easy for me to say, I’m sure.

But if I were in the middle of a polar vortex, I would quickly buy a one-way ticket to L.A. I would make super-warming foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We may not be able to control the weather, but we can control the thermal nature of what we eat. And I say, heat me up! High on my list would be this Moroccan chicken with dates which I taught in my classes last February. I know it seems like there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but half of them are spices, all of which are warming to the body, and anti-inflammatory, too. These spices, including ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and a pinch of cayenne are also quite flavorful and make this otherwise simple chicken dish, something very special. There’s also a little bit of sweetness from the cinnamon and from halved dates which rank as one of my favorite foods on the planet. A little earthy, a little sweet, a touch spicy and a little tart — it’s one of my favorite chicken recipes!

In these images, and for dinner last night, I served this with an apricot couscous (I’ll post the recipe next week.) This will have a very tasty, but brothy sauce which just begs for something to sop it up. Couscous, which is pretty dry, is the perfect side dish. But you don’t need to make it with any seasonings or herbs. Even plain would be just the right side for this dish. Otherwise, if you’re gluten-free, steamed rice, quinoa or millet would be amazing here. I also served it for dinner with simply sautéed Swiss chard, but check out this recipe for raw grated carrot and beet salad. That would be fabulous, too.

I have made this recipe in the slow cooker, as well. Please read the directions for how to adjust this recipe for the slow cooker. Both versions are amazing and will help warm up your core. At least until the next snowfall or tomorrow, or both, as the case might be!

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Stew

Spray inside of 4.5-quart slow cooker and large skillet with cooking spray.

Step two

In a small bowl,stir together oil, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, paprika, black pepper, salt and cayenne. In a medium bowl, rub half of the spice paste over the chicken until evenly coated. Set aside.

Step three

Heat skillet over medium-high. Add chicken and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on top of carrots and potatoes. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add ginger and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Put in the slow cooker and top with dried apricots, raisins and olives.

Step four

Stir together chicken broth and flour. Add broth, tomato paste, lemon juice and the remaining spice paste to the skillet and whisk to scrape up browned bits. Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables in slow cooker.

Step five

Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours, until chicken is tender and cooked through. Top with parsley and serve with warm flatbread.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

My slow cooker is one of my best friends in the kitchen. There is nothing better than coming home to the savory smells of a warm, home-cooked dinner all ready to go. My new resolution is to be more efficient in the kitchen by cooking larger meals to last for a few days. The slow cooker, or crock pot, makes this easy. This week’s recipe: Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken.

Chicken is chicken and can sometimes get boring. But not with this recipe. Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken is a sweet and savory dish bursting with flavor. Loaded with traditional Moroccan spices and sweet apricots, your family will appreciate this exotic comfort meal.

Even though life gets full and I’m busy working on new recipes and editing photos, I still want my family to eat wholesome REAL food daily. Having a slow cooker makes this possible. With just a few minutes of prep in the morning, dinner cooks itself as I chase my toddler, fold the laundry, wash the dishes, and work on my blog.

I was amazed at the smells pouring out of my kitchen as this Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken cooked. When it was done, we ladled it over steamed greens and happily gobbled it all up. Next time I’m definitely going to double the recipe.

NOTE: I usually like to sear my chicken pieces and saute my onions and spices before hand for extra flavor. I also add my veggies in half way through as I prefer them a bit less cooked. But if you are short on time, you can just throw it all into the slow cooker in the morning without all the fuss and it will still be amazing.

Oh, and if thighs and drumsticks are not your thing, feel free to use chicken breasts as well. The slow cooker is versatile and forgiving.

Harissa Spiced Moroccan Slow Cooker Chicken

Serves 6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 3 hours
Total time 3 hours, 30 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Region Moroccan

Recipe Summary

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup vertically sliced yellow onions (from 1 onion)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 ½ cups chopped peeled sweet potato (from 1 sweet potato)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can no-salt-added whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh juice (from 1 lemon)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro sprigs (Optional)

Stir together the cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the chicken thighs evenly with the spice mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add half of the chicken to the skillet cook until browned on 1 side, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over, and cook 1 minute. Transfer the chicken to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Repeat the procedure with the remaining oil and chicken.

Add the onions and ginger to the skillet cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the stock to the skillet cook 1 minute, stirring and scraping to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker. Stir the sweet potato into the slow cooker.

Using kitchen scissors, chop the tomatoes in the can. Stir the chopped tomatoes and tomato liquid, chickpeas, raisins, and salt into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until the chicken is done and the vegetables are tender, about 5 hours. Remove the chicken to a cutting board cut or tear into bite-sized pieces. Stir the lemon zest and lemon juice into the mixture in the slow cooker gently stir in the chicken. Ladle the stew into bowls, and top with the cilantro, if desired.

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