Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken
Winter is finally upon us, so it’s slow cooker season to the rescue, and this Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken is just the heart-warming winter dish you have been looking for! Full of Moroccan inspired spices, this dish requires very little work while ensuring a whole world of flavour.
I wasn’t always one for spices. As a kid, salt pepper and the occasional dash of curry powder was as crazy as things got in our house (no offence, Mom), and when I moved out on my own I really thought that flavour came from a bottle or a packet. I used to buy all the pre-made sauces in the grocery store; be it spaghetti sauce, Thai sauces, Indian Sauces or the old Lipton Onion Soup standby. Why? Because they were easy; just open and pour. However, after watching endless hours of the Food Network, I became inspired by watching TV chefs use all of these different herbs and spices, mixing them together to create exactly the flavour they wanted.
To be honest, at first this was incredibly overwhelming. There are over 30 spices in the standard grocery store aisle, and I had no idea what the difference was between coriander and cumin and paprika actually was. When I first began to experiment, I would just try recipes ideas I had found on the internet, mixing and matching spices as the recipes called for. Every week I would try a new recipe, and buy a new spice to add to my collection. Something I had never used before, and the more I did it, the more I became comfortable with the flavours. Eventually, my spice drawer grew and I knew what to combine to great Mexican flavours, Indian flavours or Asian flavours. But what I truly realised is that flavour comes from real food, herbs and spices, and not from a package or a bottle. When you decided to take the leap and experiment with spices, it opens you to a whole new level of cooking. And it’s fun!
This Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken is a flavour loaded dish that I hope will provide you with a little inspiration to try some new spices in the kitchen. If you have never purchased cumin, allspice or turmeric, this is your chance! I promise that you will be impressed with the flavours you can create in your own kitchen, and create a spice drawer that you can be proud of!
Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken
I used boneless chicken thighs in this recipes because it’s what I had on hand, but you could also use bone-in and/or skin-on chicken thighs if you want. You would likely need to increase the cooking time for bone-in thighs by 1-2 hours.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Mains
- Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
- 8 chicken thighs, boneless
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 400g can diced tomatoes
- 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground all spice
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- Optional: Mint or cilantro to serve
- In a pan on medium-high heat, brown the chicken. Heat olive oil and add chicken to the pan and sear on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Once browned, removed from pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Cook for 2-3 minute on medium heat until soft, ensuring that it does not burn.
- In the slow cooker, add the cooked onions and garlic to the bottom of the pan.
- Add can of diced tomatoes and spices. Stir gently to ensure the ingredients are well combined so that the spices cook evenly in the mixture.
- Add the chicken, laying it out evenly in the slow cooker, limiting overlap. Cover everything with broth.
- Turn slow cooker on low and allow to cook for 2 hours.
- After two hours of cooking, add the chickpeas and apricots. I added the apricots whole, but you could also chop them into small pieces if you like. Allow to cook for 1 hour more.
- After the final hour, uncover and give the stew a little stir to ensure all of the flavours are well mixed together.
- Serve on its own or with come chopped mint and/or cilantro.