This Grilled Moroccan Chicken starts with an tasty yogurt-based marinade. Add in the flavor of the grill, and you’ve got a delicious (and easy) dinner!
It might sound kinda funny, but Laura and I have started to run out of places to go eat. We have a standing babysitter date every other Saturday night. For the first several months, we used our date nights to go back to our favorite restaurants in the area. But then we started to run out of ideas. I always suggest burgers and pub-style food. Laura always suggests sushi. But there’s only so much pub food and sushi you can eat before you need a little break.
So we broke out Yelp recently and just searched our city. We love using Yelp whenever we travel, and our rules are (1) 4 stars or better and (2) at least 20+ reviews. So far, it’s never led us astray. In fact, we were in Florence, Italy earlier this summer, and we used Yelp to find a place to eat dinner…and we stumbled into a buffalo mozzarella bar. Yup, you read that right. We started with a flight of different buffalo mozzarellas, and it only got better from there!
But back to our city. Have you ever used Yelp to search your own city? You might be surprised at what you’ll find! We discovered that a new Moroccan restaurant had opened up nearby, and it had really high reviews. (4.5 stars with 36 reviews. It passed our rules!) So we decided to try it out. And, once again, Yelp didn’t fail us. In fact, that Moroccan restaurant is a new favorite!
I must admit that I was a little skeptical of this restaurant as it opened up in a location that seems to be a revolving door of restaurants. We’ve lived in our town for 8 years, and I’d guess 6 different restaurants have moved through that spot since we moved here. That’s some bad mojo to deal with when you decide to open up a new restaurant in that location!
When we walked in, I fully expected to find a traditional restaurant. You know, tables, chairs, that sort of thing. But nope. It was traditional alright…just traditional Moroccan. Low stools and couches were arranged in a semi-circle around an indoor fireplace. To be fair, our waiter offered us a table, but we chose to sit on the floor. I can’t tell you the last time I sat on the floor to eat…especially on a date night! But I’ll gladly go back and sit on the floor again if it means more tasty Moroccan food!
Grilled Moroccan Chicken
Inspired by our date night, I decided to come home and make this Grilled Moroccan Chicken. The secret to flavorful grilled chicken is a good marinade, and this Grilled Moroccan Chicken starts with a tasty yogurt-based marinade. The yogurt is seasoned with a whole array of spices, and the cool part is that the thick marinade sticks to the chicken once it goes to the grill. Then add in the grill flavor, too? Delicious!
This Grilled Moroccan Chicken is an easy option for dinner, too, as it can marinate overnight. That means just prep it the night before, and toss it on the grill (or a grill pan indoors) the next evening. I served this Grilled Moroccan Chicken over couscous, and it made for one heck of a tasty meal…even though I didn’t sit on the floor to eat this time. Enjoy! Oh, and if you try this Grilled Moroccan Chicken, come back and let me know what you think!
P.S. If you’re interested in traveling to Morocco, check out my friend Miriam’s post “Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains & Essaouira: a First-Timer’s Itinerary to Morocco.” Her photos and recap are amazing!
Grilled Moroccan Chicken
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1½-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- cooked couscous for serving
- Using a shallow glass dish, combine everything except for chicken and couscous (yogurt, lemon juice, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cayenne); mix until well combined.
- Add chicken breasts to dish, turning until well coated.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.
- Preheat grill to medium heat.
- Meanwhile, cook couscous according to package instructions.
- Place chicken on grill (discard any excess marinade); grill chicken until done (~5-7 minutes per side).
- Serve chicken over cooked couscous.