Chicken Charmoula

"Fragrant toasted spices, olives and preserved lemons make this Moroccan-style chicken a dish to be savoured. Time doesn't include marinating."
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Ready In:
1hr 20mins




  • Dry-fry (temper) the cumin and coriander seeds for 30-60 seconds in a small frying pan over medium heat.
  • Once the seeds smell toasty and begin to brown, immediately remove from the heat. Then pound them together using a pestle and mortar.
  • Put the onion, garlic and chopped herbs in a food processor along with the toasted spices, ginger and paprika. Blitz until the mixture looks reasonably smooth.
  • Scrape the mixture into a bowl and add the chopped olives and preserved lemon.
  • Stir in a bit of olive oil to slacken the mixture further to a paste. Season to taste with cayenne, salt and pepper.
  • Slash the chicken in several places to allow the flavours to penetrate.
  • Slap the paste all over the chicken, pressing it into the slashes. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but overnight if you can.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge and leave to stand for about 30 minutes to allow it to come back to room temperature before cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F
  • Place the chicken in a roasting pan and roast for 30-35 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced to the centre with a fork.
  • To make the yoghurt sauce, slacken the yoghurt with the milk, then stir in the remaining ingredients.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I made this with chicken breasts. There is a lot of marinade paste, you could easily halve or quarter it. Although we like all the ingredients, we didn't love it like we thought we would.
  2. I loved the spice mix in this. And I also loved the coolness of the yogurt sauce and the way it complemented the chicken. I used chicken breast and marinated it for several hours. Just lovely!
  3. What a fabulous chicken recipe! The Spice Paste came together very quickly and easily and I marinated the chicken overnight. Pungent and fragrant, but certainly not overwhelming. I didn't make the yoghurt sauce, which I assume is eaten with the chicken once cooked. Served with Recipe #228680.


I live in Manchester, UK with my fiance and young son. I work at the local hospital in pediatrics and love my job. I also love cooking!! I have a sweet tooth but try and make healthy family meals, I'm not against some lovely treats now and then though :)
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