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Rich and flavorful Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Stew is a wonderfully delicious nourishing comfort food that’s perfect for warming up with on a cold evening.

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Stew 1

When I was thinking of making this dish it started out in my mind as Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Stew with Quince. Until Mike informed me that he doesn’t like quinces, with the too-similar resemblance in flavor and texture they bear to apples (yes, he doesn’t like apples either). So I improvised and added potato and carrot (both Mike-approved) instead. We both enjoyed the end result so it was worth the substitutions I made; Mike said it reminded him of a Kuwaiti dish he used to eat as a child (that he forgot the name of!).

The broth of this dish is really incredible and is actually more like gravy. It’s richly spiced and thick, mostly because of the onion, which just melts into the liquid. The thing about this broth is the longer it simmers, the more the flavors marry and the more delicious it becomes. This is why I used chicken thighs, which stand up better to longer cooking than chicken breasts. Bone-in chicken would also be fantastic here, just be sure to take off the skin, since it adds a tremendous amount of unnecessary fat and would end up rubbery after stewing in this dish.

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Stew 2

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Stew
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Rich and flavorful Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Stew is a wonderfully delicious nourishing comfort food that's perfect for warming up with on a cold evening.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1½ to 2 lbs total weight), trimmed of fat
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium-large onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix (see Note)
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 medium (about ¾ to 1 lb) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 medium-large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh minced parsley, for garnish (optional)
  1. In a large Dutch oven or thick-bottomed soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high to high heat. Dredge the chicken in the flour and gently shake off any excess; add the chicken to the hot oil and sear until browned on both sides, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the onion to the Dutch oven. Turn the heat down to medium and sauté until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ras el hanout, turmeric, and bay leaf and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chicken stock, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits that have formed on the bottom; add the chicken (with juices).
  4. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a gentle simmer and cover the Dutch oven, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the potatoes and carrots, turn heat up and bring back up to a gentle boil, and then turn heat down to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes (covered, but with lid slightly ajar) until the veggies are tender, stirring occasionally. (You can remove lid for a bit if you want the sauce to thicken more.)
  6. Taste and add additional salt and black pepper as desired. Serve the stew garnished with fresh minced parsley.
Ras el Hanout: This is a Moroccan spice blend that’s common across the Middle East. You can buy it at Middle Eastern grocery stores, or you can make your own at home. To make a small batch for this recipe (approximately 1 tablespoon), combine the following ground spices: ¾ teaspoon cumin, ¾ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon allspice, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon coriander, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 pinch cloves, 1 pinch nutmeg, and 1 pinch cardamom.

Reheating: Like many stews, this is even better the next day. It thickens quite a bit upon standing, so you may need to add a splash of water before reheating. To reheat, cook over medium-low heat on the stovetop until warm throughout.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Made this tonight and it was so very tasty! thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely be making this on a regular basis :)

  2. Will make this tomorrow as i have most of the spices already. Just came home from a 3-week trip to the middle-east. Glad I found your site.

  3. I made this last night and it was so fabulous! I of course made my own changes to it.. I only had a whole chicken on hand and not enough time to cut it up and dredge and brown it.. so I put the whole mess in the crockpot and broke the chicken up when it was cooked. It was tremendous! Even with my mutations which I’m certain sacrificed considerable flavor. Next time I’ll do it the right way — but I think as long as I take away some of the broth –the crockpot is totally the way to go.. YUMMM>> Thanks so much.

    1. Laura, I’m so glad you enjoyed the stew! Your changes sound great actually…I love the idea of using the crockpot!

  4. Such great flavors! I cook a lot with boneless skinless chicken thighs…they are so tasty! That spice blend sounds great too…yum!

  5. Would be lovely as leftover…that is if there’s any left. :)

  6. This Moroccan stew sounds great & I would partner with you in trying the quince or apple version. Not sure I have ever had quince – but I am sure I could roll with that. Looks yummy girl!

  7. Fantastic looking soup, perfect for the season.

  8. Beautiful stew! This is a dish that is soul satisfying and perfect for an autumn evening.

  9. Great looking stew! So hearty for this weather! and the plate it’s on is just so pretty!

  10. It has been stormy, rainy and COLD here…and how I wish a bowl of this comforting stew for the dinner!

  11. I have been thinking about making some Moroccan food ever since someone gave me a cookbook for my birthday…. this looks delicious too, and since I like apples I could put some in too!

  12. What a hearty stew! This would be great after a cold day. I love Moroccan flavors and spices, so I know that this would hit the spot! Thank you for sharing…I hope your Friday is delightful!

  13. Another wonderful stew from you Faith! I love the sound of the thick gravy-like broth. It looks incredibly warming and delicious!

  14. I ♥ the stew that Mike approved faith…such a familiar ring to the tale. I love the flavours, the way they married and the way the onions melted into the soup to make a gravy….mmmm! Nom nom nom!

  15. This looks a litte like one of my fave dishes – Chicken Curry! Only difference is there’s no coconut milk here & thanks for introducing me to Ras el hanout!

  16. Before I even started to read I was drooling over the photo Faith, this looks so rich and tasty! Gotta love the guys and their straight talking food dislikes huh so thinking your a champ to play with the substitutions although the Quince does sound amazing too. Seriously Faith, this is uber drool worthy, love the plate you’ve served it up in too. Big thumbs up from me :)

  17. This is my kind of stew! I love hearty dishes like this. they warm you from the inside out; perfect for a cold fall evening.

  18. These photos are amazing and the stew is just delicious, even if the potatoes and carrots sound a bit humdrum after the quince!

  19. Ben’s weird about chicken and apples too, so I know he’d love your changes!

  20. Such warming and lovely flavours! It would be perfect if only we weren’t hitting the high temperatures here in Sydney!

  21. This just jumped to #1 on my to do list!!

  22. Well look who is getting all ethnic on me lol. I love Moroccan food. Gee, why do all the foodie end up with such difficult food partners lol.

  23. Beautiful- looks so warm and comforting. Doesn’t like apples? Josh doesn’t like tomatoes and I’m always amazed. Guess we all got our own things ;)

  24. This is the perfect dinner for the chilly nights we’ve been having here in L.A.

    Love your beautiful dishes, as usual!

  25. Mmmmmm, Faith, this looks amazing. The spice mix sounds so warm and spicy, perfect with the chicken.

  26. You know, I like quince and apples, but I’d say the carrots and potatoes are more than a satisfactory substitute! This looks fantastic …

  27. How can anybody not like apples? Anyway, the stew looks amazing the way you made it. All I need to hear are the words “Moroccan” and “stew” and I’m in!

  28. He doesn’t like APPLES?!?!? I’m not sure that I could live with a man like that. But…he DID like this stew. So maybe I could give him another chance. Sounds delicious!

  29. I’ve been wanting to cook a Moroccan dish for so long. Your stew looks so comforting, it makes me want to go to the kitchen and turn on the stove immediately.

  30. A gorgeous stew! Love those flavors.



  31. Such a lovely stew! I really like the Morrocan flavours here.

  32. Faith,

    Without a doubt the longer it simmers that more the flavors meld. That where you get the real complex flavor profiles. I love the thickness of the broth. Using the bone would add even more thickness.

    Glad that you used the thigh, that where all the flavor is. Great spice mix. Especially the Ras el hanout. Another fantastic dish!

  33. I love thick broths, mmm :) Looks wonderful! My question is: who doesn’t love apples?! Silly Mike…!!

  34. Moroccan spiced chicken soup looks delicious. I love any spicy food. This one I need to try.

  35. Oh Faith, this stew looks sooo good! Stews are so comforting, yours has all of my favorite Moroccan flavors especially Res-al-Hanout!

  36. I just want to dig in – so nice and hearty! Your photos are gorgeous!

  37. That stew looks so hearty and comforting! I love potatoes and carrots in a stew – yum!

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