Enjoy the flavors of Morocco with richly spiced chicken, savory onions, and tangy olives. Using just one small bowl and a baking sheet, this Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken is just as easy to clean up as it is to prepare!
What is it about Morocco that seems so romantic?
Did I get this idea from the movie Casablanca? I kind of doubt that, considering I only saw it once and fell asleep about 30 minutes into it. Don’t judge me, I was like 14 at the time and really couldn’t appreciate it. Maybe I’ll give it another go this weekend.
Personally, I think a lot of the exotic feel comes from the food. Everything is warm, richly spiced, and full of subtle flavors. Paired with the right bottle of red wine, dim lighting, and maybe even a low table with cushion seating, enjoying a Moroccan meal is an absolute feast for the senses.
One of the distinctive features of Moroccan cuisine is the marrying of sweet and savory flavors. A classic B’Stilla is made by forming a flaky dough around a filling of savory meat, baking it to golden perfection, then topping it with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. It’s one of those dishes that sounds a bit strange until you try it yourself.
The sweetness factor in today’s recipe comes from, of all things, lemons!
Surprising, right? Here’s the thing: a few lemon slices are scattered onto a rimmed half sheet pan before being topped with oil, onions, and spiced chicken. As the dish roasts in the oven, the sugars in the lemon slices become subtly caramelized.
Once you pull it out of the oven, scatter some olives and cilantro over the pan, then squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the chicken to really brighten up the dish.
Serve this chicken with a side of couscous and some warm, soft bread. Enjoy!
Here’s Your Recipe!
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 lemon
- 2 large sweet onions, cut into 12 wedges each
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 skin-on chicken quarters
- 1 cup green olives, pitted
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Preheat an oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, prepare the spice rub by combining the salt, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and the pressed garlic.
- Cut the lemon in half and set one half aside. Cut the remaining half into thin slices, then arrange the slices in a single layer on a rimmed half sheet pan. Scatter the onion wedges over the lemons, then drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the onions. Sprinkle the pan with ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric.
- Place the chicken quarters on the pan, skin side up. Pat the top of the chicken dry, then brush the prepared spice mixture evenly onto the skin of each quarter.
- Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees and the juices run clear.
- Scatter the pan with the olives and cilantro leaves. Squeeze the juice from the remaining half lemon onto the chicken. Serve warm with couscous and soft bread.