Moroccan Chicken Recipe
with Eggplant, Tomato & a Pile of Spices!

Is it time to restock your spice pantry? This easy one-dish chicken recipe is a real hit. The chicken is moist and flavorful, the sauce perfumed with Moroccan-style spices.

Moroccan Chicken

Are your spices a model of management or a muddle of a mess?

My personal spice system (is orderly confusion a system?) dates back to my first apartment with its supermarket skillets and single cupboard.

And it’s worked great until recently. But those neat little Tone’s red and green containers simply aren’t big enough any more.

Spices give your taste buds a vigorous workout. Doubling, even tripling, the spices make a food taste, well, bigger – and importantly, bigger but not fatter.

MOROCCAN CHICKEN is redolent with the depth of paprika and the bite of ginger, the musk of fennel and the heft of cumin, all lifted up by the bright contrast of lemon. It’s simply pungent with flavor.

Try increasing the spices – and dropping the fat – with favorite recipes. They may surprise you!

ALANNA's TIPS Before making this dish, take a deep whiff of each spice. Does it smell dusty? It’s time for a replacement. As written, Moroccan Chicken reheats and freezes beautifully. But you might also cook ahead and freeze just the sauce, adding the meat and eggplant for a fast supper another night. Substitute chicken breasts if that’s what’s on hand. But do look for skinless, boneless chicken thighs. The meat is often less expensive and always more flavorful. Common wisdom coaches us to avoid dark meat but in Weight Watchers terms, four ounces of breast and thigh both tally in at three points. Try a thigh!
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 25 minutes prep, then occasional attention until ready
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 4
  • 1 pound fresh eggplant, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika or pimentón, the smoky Spanish paprika
  • 2 teaspoons whole fennel seed
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock or Homemade Vegetable Bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1-1/2 lemons)
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, bone-in or bone-out, skin removed and fat trimmed
  • Chopped cilantro

ROAST EGGPLANT Set oven at 400F. Toss eggplant in 1 tablespoon olive oil until evenly coated. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet and bake 25-30 minutes (no need to wait for oven to fully heat) or until light brown.

MAKE SAUCE Heat a Dutch oven on medium high, heat the second tablespoon olive oil until shimmery. Add onion and garlic and stir to coat with fat; sauté until golden. Add spices, stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil.

COOK Reduce heat, add chicken thighs, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Turn thighs over, cover, simmer another 10 minutes. Add eggplant, simmer 10 minutes uncovered.

To serve, top with cilantro and serve with Oven-Baked Rice or something else that will soak up the fragrant juices.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving (1 thigh, 1-1/2 cups sauce): 306 Calories; 12g Tot Fat; 94mg Cholesterol; 719mg Sodium; 26g Carb; 8g Fiber; 26g Protein; Weight Watchers 6 points This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized'.
Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2004 (Please note: Product Disclosure)

Spices for Moroccan Chicken
Yes, that's a lot of spices! But I don't recommend cutting back the quantity. Commenters on the inspiring recipe called the recipe 'bland' when the spices were cut back. There's plenty of tomato and eggplant sauce for two pounds of chicken.
Like many stews, this is very good when eaten straight off the stove but a day of refrigeration helps meld the flavors and slightly thicken the sauce. Plan for leftovers!
If you have a tagine like this one, make the chicken in that. My idea would be to mix the tomato mixture and the roasted eggplant, nestle the chicken thighs in, then cook at 350F for 45 minutes.
I'm always pleased when I remake an early recipe from Kitchen Parade and am instantly reminded why it belongs in my collection of recipes. This is definitely one! The eggplant and tomato sauce is just so good, it's 'spicy' but not 'spicy-hot' just full of flavor. Tis a winner!

More Chicken Comfort Food

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
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Just perfect for a cold and dreary day. Thanks, AK!
Ohhhhh - does that sound good! I'm always looking for new ways to make chicken breasts. Thanks Alanna!
I like that you layered all the spices on top of each other like that for your photo. I would love to see the end result of the stew too! Sounds yummy.
Good idea, Hillary. I just added another photo!
Hi Alanna!
Your spice photo looks so pretty. You are reminding me that I have to get to my spice shelves and reorganize. I just never have enough room for all of it, no matter what I do! :)
These colorful spices are like comfort in a bowl. The aroma of these are perfuming my computer screen!
I would love a bowl of this chicken dish...just add a little extra jasmine rice on mine, please!
Alanna! I could read your blog for hours! I love it, keep it up!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna