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Moroccan Chicken & Rice

3.82 from 60 votes

Why not spice up your dinner with this Moroccan Chicken & Rice dish. Tender chicken thighs marinaded and cooked in turmeric, coriander and cumin which brings all the flavour to the dinner table. I can’t tell you how tasty it is, so you’ll just have to try it for yourself!

Moroccan Chicken and Rice

Looking for something new and exciting to put on the dinner table this week? Well, you got to try this Moroccan Chicken and Rice Dinner! You don’t need to travel outside your kitchen to bring theses exotic flavours to you dinner table. And if you haven’t already checked out my Roasted Moroccan Chicken or the Beef & Squash Tagine, check out those as well!

What are Moroccan Flavours & Spices

So many different spices are used in Moroccan cooking and here’s a few of the common ones that you will all be familiar with already.

  • cinnamon
  • cumin
  • turmeric
  • ginger
  • paprika
  • cloves

And here’s a few more that might be new to you

  • saffron
  • fennel
  • anise
  • fenegreek
  • caraway
OVER HEAD VIEW OF moroccan chicken and rice
Moroccan Chicken & Rice

Using Moroccan Spices

Of course, like all cuisines, there’s a whole lot more to it. As well, not all these spices are used in everyday cooking.

This dish, for example, only uses a fraction of all those spices to bring it together.

After living here in Spain for 24 years now, I’ve learned to use so many of these spices in cooking with hit and miss results. Thankfully, this dish was a hit….haha!

My first introduction to Moroccan cooking was through the Moro Cookbook. Admittedly, I only ever cooked a handful of recipes from that book. Nonetheless a great capture of where Andalucia, Spain meets Morocco in cooking.

Moroccan Chicken & Rice

Are You New To Using Exotic Spices

I know that getting started out,it might seem a little daunting with flavours you’re not familiar with. But once you get started, there will be no stopping you. I promise!

Most of the time, it’s nice to stick to what you know, I get it 100%. But other times, it’s nice to have a break from the norm and make something like this delicious Moroccan inspired dinner.

There’s no stopping you!

over head view of the moroccan chicken and rice
Moroccan Chicken & Rice

Notes about the Moroccan Chicken & Rice

Okay, lets talk about this Moroccan chicken dish.  First of all, I just have to say how much I loved it.  It was really fantastic!

  • I used small chicken thighs with bone in but no skin.  If you are using large chicken thighs, cook them on the stove top for about 10 minutes longer than the recipe states below.  This may require a bit of additional stock if the pan goes dry. Yes, you can cook this dish with skin on.  Just keep in mind it may add a big more of a greasy texture to the rice with the finished dish.  Just a thought.
  • I wouldn’t skip the recommended serving at the end of the recipe!  Really, it made the dish even that much better.  Just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, some fresh coriander and a bit of Greek yogurt on the side.  Really fantastic!
Moroccan Chicken & Rice

How To Serve The Moroccan Chicken & Rice

This could be a great dinner to serve at a dinner for friends if they love trying more exotic foods.  Keep it in mind next time you want to spice things up.

And if you’re looking for more inspired Moroccan dishes, take a look at the Moroccan Seared Tuna or the Spiced Morccan Pork Kebabs. I even got a Spiced Moroccan Soup recipe for all your vegetarian lovers out there. Have a look around and see what you can find.

Happy cooking friends and cook something exotic today!

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Moroccan Chicken & Rice

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Moroccan Chicken & Rice

Why not spice up your dinner with this Moroccan Chicken & Rice dish. I can't tell you how tasty it is, so you'll just have to try it for yourself!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Marinade Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: chicken, rice, Spice
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 621kcal
Author: Julia Pinney


For the chicken:

  • 6 Chicken thighs bone in (with skin, optional)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 Cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried coriander
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons oregano
  • 6 Garlic cloves crushed
  • Salt
  • pepper

For the rice:

  • 2 Cups Basmati rice
  • 3 1/2 Cups Chicken stock
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon coriander
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt

To serve:

  • Lime wedges
  • Greek yogurt
  • Fresh coriander


  • First marinade the chicken. Add the lemon juice, turmeric, cumin, coriander, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper to a large bowl and stir. Add chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for one hour to overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove chicken from fridge when ready to cook. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over the stove top. Add the chicken, the meaty side down. Cook for about 5 minutes until browned and flip over cooking the other side for a further 5 minutes or so. Reduce heat to low, add the 1/4 cup/60 ml of chicken stock, cover and leave to cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and transfer to a plate.
  • In the reserved pan, add the remaining olive oil, garlic and onion. Stir for for a minute and add the turmeric and coriander. Stir well. Leave to cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir well until the rice is completely coated, about 2 – 3 minutes. Evenly pour over all the stock and give a quick stir.
  • Arrange the chicken over the dish, cover and put in the oven for further 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Remove from oven and leave a few minutes before serving.
  • Fluff rice with a fork before serving.
  • I recommend serving this dish with lime wedges, Greek yogurt and fresh coriander.

*A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.


Can marinade up to overnight.
Nutrition Facts
Moroccan Chicken & Rice
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 621 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 115mg38%
Sodium 309mg13%
Potassium 614mg18%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 122IU2%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 78mg8%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Thanks For Stopping By And Hope To See You Soon!

By on February 3rd, 2021
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62 Comments on “Moroccan Chicken & Rice”

    • Hi Julie, I should have been more clear about that. The coriander in the rice is ground. I’ll make a change in the recipe. Thanks!

      • 5 stars
        Thanks, I just tried this, although I used some Moroccan seasoning I had in the cupboard for the chicken, but followed the rice part exactly, and it was AMAZING!!!

  1. 4 stars
    This was good but not as flavorful as I expected. It really didn’t have a marinade, it was more of a paste with the juice of half a lemon as the only liquid. I feel like the spice flavor didn’t penetrate. Maybe I missed something? But the rice was very good and it made the house smell amazing while it was cooking.

    • Hi Cindy, thanks for you honest feedback, it’s much appreciated. I’ve made this dish many times and we really enjoy it. Yes, the flavour isn’t as powerful as if it were in a sauce or a lingering marinade. I would say it has subtle flavours. You could try tweaking to your taste buds if you make it again. You could try adding about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to the marinade and up the lemon to a whole lemon. If you marinade overnight, the chicken will have more flavour. I’ve made it with just marinding for an hour and I did it with the chicken marinading overnight. Without doubt, overnight resulted in more tender and flavoursome chicken. I hope this helps. And thank you so much for your feedback. Enjoy the weekend.

    • Yes, you definitely missed something as I used ALL the juices from the chicken broth and any extra from the olive oil and I added more lemon juice and it was full of flavor and moist!

    • Maria, so sorry for the late reply. Somehow, I overlooked this comment. I’ve not tested this recipe in a tagine, so I’m not sure what the method would be exactly. For exact times, I would have to test it myself. Of course, you can give it a try!

        • Hi Kirilie, I’ve been getting several people with the rice taking longer to cook. I’m curious are you using Basmati rice? I’ve cooked this recipe many times with Basmati rice and the cooking time never changes. I appreciate the feedback. I will add some notes to the recipe card, thank you.

  2. Could I simmer this on the stove with a lid instead of putting it in the oven? What is the reasoning behind using the oven over this method?

    • Hi Becca, did you use Basmati rice? I’ve cooked this dish many times snd it’s had many positive reviews from readers. Basmati rice cooks fairly quickly as it’s a fine grain rice. Sorry to hear your’s didn’t cook through.

  3. 5 stars
    Tasted great but milder than I like. I’ll up the spices and salt. My rice didn’t cook well in the oven but was fine after I put on top of the stove to finish. Served with guests who loved it. Will definitely do this again.

    • Hi Teresa, Thanks for the kind feedback and happy you enjoyed the chicken dinner. Another reader mentioned their rice didn’t cook in the time stated. I can only think that maybe the brand of rice used in my recipe cooks quicker. Rice does vary (like many things), but the time shouldn’t be much longer. I’m going to look into this and see if I can come up with a solution.

      • Trying this tonight, with medium grain rice, do you do the rinsing thing before you add rice to reserve pan? Also, I’m attempting this with Chicken breast pieces for the kidlings, looking at 2hrs marinate time, I also added the zest of 3/4 of the lemon too because we like extra lemon-y Moroccan. I despise cooking rice, so here’s hoping this works for me.

    • Hi Linda, It probably can, however I haven’t tested it so I’m unable to give proper times and instructions for this recipe. If I do turn it into a slow cooker version as well, I’ll let you know.

  4. 5 stars
    I tried using a longer cooking rice mixture and it turned out great after about an extra half hour or so cooking time. For those who like other than white rice, you should try it. Just remember that the texture will be a bit different but the flavor was great.

  5. Amazing! Added things I had in the kitchen to fluff it up a bit. Made a tomato confit for some acid (or you could use more lemon and maybe olives) and added black beans for a little more body and chilis for a kick. Then served a side of just simple roasted root veggies. Very happy great family meal or potluck dish.

  6. Rice sis not even remotely cook in the overnight. Maybe it was supposed to be brought to a boil before being moved to the oven? Currently have it in the stove top to hopefully cook. I’m pretty disappointed with that because now I am in an unexpected time crunch.

  7. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. I use chicken breasts vs thighs so I know I would need to adjust cooking time since chicken breast cook faster than thighs. I any suggestions and would basmati rice still work or should I use another kind of rice that will time out with the chicken?

    • Hi Marianne, Yes, chicken breasts will cook much quicker. You could try a quicker cooking rice. Alternatively, you could precook the rice and add it to the dish before going in the oven. I hope this helps.

  8. 3 stars
    Wanted to love this, but the tumeric measurements are a bit insane. It stained everything and felt like it burnt our tongues? Maybe try with tsp instead of tbl next time, it has good potential.

    • Oh no Melissa, I’m really sorry to hear this. I know that tumeric has a very powerful flavour and I am aware there is quite a lot in the recipe. I have had many readers love it just the way it is and others that feel the way your did. I’m going to add a note to the recipe card to give readers a chance to change the turmeric to suit tastes. Thank you for you honest feedback, I appreciate it.

  9. Absolutely adored this recipe. My boyfriend and I made it together for my grandparents. We wanted a dish that we would all enjoy outside in the evening on the patio and it far exceeded our expectations and our tastebuds.

  10. 5 stars
    Absolutely adored this recipe. My boyfriend and I made it together for my grandparents. We wanted a dish that we would all enjoy outside in the evening on the patio and it far exceeded our expectations and our tastebuds. Thank you!

    • Hi Dalaina, Really happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe and made it for your grandparents. How lovely! Thank you for the kind feedback!

    • Hi Jennifer, I haven’t made this recipe with drumsticks, but it should work no problem. Baked chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks, should cook at around the same time depending on their size. Just to be sure, if you have a kitchen thermometer, the chicken will be cooked at 165 degrees f or when juices run clear. Hope this helps.

  11. 5 stars
    Will definitely make again. I doubled the recipe (the marinade and chicken; left the rice the same). I cut boneless skinless thighs into about 6 pieces each, and added 1 tbsp of olive oil to the marinade. I also used turmeric paste not powder, but had no problem with the marinade being moist enough.
    Next time I am going to try substituting 1/2 a cup of orange juice instead of chicken broth. We are also going to add either some golden raisins, or some oven roasted cherry tomatoes.
    But we definitely liked it, and will continue to tweak it for our tastes! Thank you.

  12. My son really hates coriander/cilantro. He is one of those who finds it to taste like soap. He’s not at all a picky eater, but if it tastes like soap to him, I totally understand it. Is there anything you could recommend as a good substitute for the coriander or is that just not something that can be successfully substituted in this recipe?

    • Hi Debbie, This recipe uses both dried coriander and fresh coriander/cilantro. For the fresh coriander/cilantro you could just use fresh parsley. As for the dried coriander, it does add a lot of flavour to the overall dish. Two are very different flavours for sure. And yes, I hear a lot of people say that fresh coriander/cilantro tastes like soap. I hope this helps.

      • Thanks!
        Sometimes there just isn’t a good substitute, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. I just won’t try making this when he will be here to eat it. 🙂

  13. 4 stars
    This was delicious, but the turmeric was a bit too astringent for us. We ended up sprinkling on some paprika and adding some honey, at the plate stage, and it was amazing. next time will cut the turmeric in half and add some paprika.

    • Thanks so much for your honest feedback Cathy. I really appreciate it. The addition of paprika an honey sounds like a wonderful change. Thank you!

  14. 5 stars
    I modified this recipe slightly to make it kind of Greek. I added cherry tomatoes and black olives .i added more lemon juice, reduced the turmeric and added more oregano. Substituted Marsala wind for 1/2 cup of chicken stock. delicious, tzatziki on the side.

  15. Should I rinse and soak the basmati rice first? Every time I have made recipes with this type of rice, it requires several rinses and a period of soaking. Thanks!

    • I don’t find it necessary to rinse rice. I know many recipes rinse and or soak rice. And there are many different reasons why recipe writers do this. You can rinse your rice if you wish. But if you choose to soak your rice, keep in mind it will cook much quicker. I hope this helps.

      • If I’m using already cooked rice how does that adjust the oven time if I’m not waiting for it to cook and just flavoring it?

        • Hi Courtney, The rice in this dish works best if cooked in the flavours of the dish. I have not tired it out cooking the rice separately, so I’m no 100% sure how well it would work out.

  16. 5 stars
    This is unbelieveably delicious and the same time colourful and decorative dish. One of the best recepies I have tried!!!

3.82 from 60 votes (48 ratings without comment)

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