Moroccan Chicken With Lemon Yoghurt Dip

24th April 2017

Interview: Rebecca May Johnson
Photographs: Dan Dennison

“I chose this dish because I enjoy playing with flavours from parts of Africa other than Ghana when I can, and it went down so well when I cooked it recently for friends. This recipe is incredibly simple to execute despite the long list of ingredients, making it easy to chat and cook at the same time. It uses many of those smoky aromas and rich flavours associated with Northern Africa and Morocco that happen to be readily on hand in my home kitchen.”
Zoe Adjonyoh, chef & food writer, London


You can turn this into a more substantial meal by adding a tin of cooked chickpeas or Borlotti beans into the stew before returning the chicken to the pan.

Serves 3-4


Moroccan chicken

6-8 chicken pieces, boneless and skinless
3 tbsp (30ml) rapeseed or olive oil
1 large cooking onion, finely diced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp each of powdered cumin, coriander & cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
50g tomato puree
2-3 green birds-eye chillies, finely chopped (optional, depending on how much heat you enjoy)
300g baby plum or cherry tomatoes, halved (put 100g aside for the salad)
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
350ml chicken stock
1 tbsp wild honey
50g fresh apricots, halved
2 tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)
A good pinch of sea salt flakes to season
1 tbsp chopped parsley or coriander
A wedge of lemon to garnish
Couscous to serve

Lemon Yoghurt Dip

200g full-fat plain yogurt
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced finely with a pinch of salt
Half a cucumber, de-seeded and sliced into half moons or cubes

Salad with a punchy dressing

400g wild rocket, washed
100g baby plum or cherry tomatoes, halved (leftovers depending on which you used for the sauce)
2 lemons, juiced
1 preserved lemon’s rind, finely chopped (optional)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
A good pinch of sea salt flakes to season
75ml-100ml extra virgin olive oil


Mix the dry spices together and use 1 tablespoon to season the chicken, adding some salt.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy based, non-stick frying dish, then brown the chicken on all sides (about 3-4 minutes each) on a medium heat. Remove and set aside.

Add the onions and garlic to the last tablespoon of oil and soften until translucent, then add the fresh ginger, tomato puree and remaining dry spices. Stir until they form a paste in the pan.

Add the fresh tomatoes, chillies and red wine vinegar, stirring through until evenly coated, as the tomatoes begin to cook down.

Next add the tinned tomatoes and chicken stock. Gently stir everything through – the pan should de-glaze and be bubbling gently away. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and gently turn through so they are coated all over.

Finally add the fresh apricots and honey. Lower to a simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

To make the lemon yoghurt dip, mix all the ingredients together and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Put the rocket and tomatoes in a bowl. To make the dressing, combine the rest of the ingredients, slowly stirring in the olive oil at the end until you have a consistency you’re happy with. Set aside.

To make couscous, follow packet instructions, combining a good quality vegetable or chicken stock cube into the hot water

When the chicken is ready, garnish it with some freshly-chopped coriander or parsley and a wedge of lemon. Serve with the salad, the lemon yoghurt dip and some couscous. Add some toasted olive bread or flatbreads to the table for the mop up and it’s a winner.

Posted 24th April 2017

In Recipes


Interview: Rebecca May Johnson
Photographs: Dan Dennison