You may be surprised to discover the many different ways in which chicken is prepared in Moroccan cuisine. From sweet and savory to salty and lemony and everything in between, the chicken recipes featured here are sure to delight at your next special occasion meal.
Note that all of these dishes are offered as family fare as well, but extra care is given to presentation and garnish when serving them at banquets or company dinners.
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Although it's a weekly family meal for many Moroccans, couscous is also a favorite to serve at social gatherings and special occasions. Chicken, lamb or beef may be used.
The two most popular couscous preparations are with an assortment of seven vegetables or with a sweet, syrupy caramelized onion and raisin garnish called tfaya. However, It's increasingly common to see the tfaya used as a garnish to vegetable couscous as shown here – so good!
02 of 06
Arguably one of Morocco's most famous dishes, chicken bastilla is an incredibly tasty fusion of flavors and textures. Think of it as an elegant meat pie unlike any other. Saffron flavored chicken, an omelet cooked in an onion-herb sauce, and sweetened fried almonds are all baked within paper-thin pastry. Cinnamon and powdered sugar are used to decorate and garnish the bastilla.
Traditionally bastillas were made as one large communal pie, but it is now common to also shape them into individual serving size. They can be fully prepped in advance and frozen until baking time.
03 of 06
Aromatic spices and fresh or dried fruit pair beautifully in a number of Moroccan tagines, making them a popular offering for company meals. This one with chicken and dried apricots is among the most popular. For an extra special presentation, you can add other dried fruit such as prunes, figs or dates.
No tagine is required – the chicken and apricots will stew beautifully in a deep skillet.
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A quintessential Moroccan dish, you'll see the chicken with preserved lemon and olives prepared in a number of ways – stove top in a conventional pot; in a clay or ceramic tagine; or roasted in the oven while the onion sauce cooks separately on the stove.
For feeding a crowd or offering at company meals, roast chicken is often preferred, with one chicken served per every three persons. Diners eat by hand, using pieces of Moroccan bread to scoop up the chicken and delicious onion sauce.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Sweet and savory lovers will thank you for treating them to the spectacular dish of seffa medfouna. Seffa is the name of the broken vermicelli noodles which are steamed until plump and tender. Medfouna means "buried," in reference to the succulent, savory saffron flavored chicken and sauce which are hidden within the mound of pasta.
It's a favorite of many Moroccans, and while this presentation is garnished with dried fruits and whole fried almonds, it's more common to see it decorated with alternating lines of ground cinnamon, ground almonds, and powdered sugar.
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This Moroccan comfort food favorite of chicken rfissa is also a fairly common choice for casual company dinners. Although often humble in appearance – it is, after all, a chicken and lentil stew served over shredded bread or pastry – it can be dressed up as shown here in a variation known as bormache. But if your culinary skills don't lean toward such creative presentations, fear not because the fragrant, exotic flavors of the saffron, fenugreek and Ras el Hanout are sure to win over your guests.