Grilled Moroccan Chicken
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.
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This Moroccan chicken sounds delicious. I can’t say that I’ve ever eaten Moroccan food. All those spices are flavors I love so I’m certain they would taste delicious on the chicken. How fun to discover new restaurants. I’ll have to remember to use Yelp the next time I’m travelling or looking for a new place to eat.
You know, I can’t say I had really ever had Moroccan cuisine before either. I was a little skeptical because deep-down I just wanted a burger that night…but I was pleasantly surprised! It was delicious! Give it a shot sometime. And, yes, definitely remember Yelp. Just remember: 4+ stars and 20+ reviews! Thanks, Kathy!
Hold the phone. A buffalo mozzarella bar? My to-do list just got a little longer. I love Yelp for finding new restaurants to try! For the most part, the recommendations are wonderful. But in Phoenix, people seem to have different ideas of what constitutes good Mexican food than I do. . .Oh well. I don’t think I’ve ever had Moroccan food but judging from the flavors in your recipe I’d love it!
I know! A buffalo mozzarella bar. It exists! In fact, they had a NY Times article framed next to the bar calling buffalo mozzarella bars the next trend in food. Not sure if it’s caught on yet, but it needs to! And to make things sweeter, the restaurant (Obica) has locations around the world…and they fly their buffalo mozzarella in from Italy to each location! Now I’m curious what the Mexican food in Phoenix is like. I would’ve thought it’d be pretty legit out there!
Wow ! So in love with Moroccan. Must try ! Thank you so much !
Thank you! I’ve gotta say that Moroccan cuisine is a new favorite around here for sure. 🙂
Wow, David, this recipe looks so good! I feel like you must’ve peeked into my spice drawer, it reads just like the recipe! And I’m all for night-before prep. Thanks for the idea!
The spice list might look a little intimidating here, but honestly it’s not that bad. And since you can prep it the night before, it means you’ve got an easy and delicious meal the next evening! Thanks so much, Laura! 🙂
I think we’ll never run out of places as we rarerly dine out. And if we go somewhere, that tends to be something simple like a sushi or noodle place (or occasionally we can grab something like poutine to enjoy at home). But my current favorite would be Mediterranean and particularly Turkey restaurants. These countries know how to made delicious meat, right? And probably (having seen so many delicious grilled foods on your blog) I should consider visiting your place too, David. I know that would be an expensive experience because of the distance, but we should splurge once in a while. Can I book a table, please? 😉
Mmmm…poutine! Have you ever tried making poutine, Ben? It’s been on my list of things to try at home, but it seems like I might kinda screw it up. I’ll have to try it out sometime though! Now as far as visiting my place, I don’t think I show up on Yelp. But if you call ahead, then I might be able to make arrangements! 🙂 You’ll just have to bring me some authentic poutine!
I just went out for my birthday dinner to a local well-liked restaurant and I was disappointed but I had some wonderful meals in Europe.
Your chicken dish looks delicious , it reminds me of my trip to Marrakech four years ago.
Bummer! We’ve totally had our moments where we are disappointed…and it’s even worse when it’s a local favorite. Our favorite burger restaurant here in town screwed things up one night, and we actually talked to the manager. Turns out they had changed chefs. He offered to have us come back again on him, so we took him up on the offer…and things were back to normal! Thanks so much for the comment. And after reading Miriam’s posts about Morocco, that is one place that has definitely gotten my interest!
Ha ha, we’re both all about Moroccan flavours at the moment David! I wish we had a Moroccan restaurant near us here in Glasgow. I’m lucky enough to have sampled the flavours there in Morocco directly and I tell you they’re something special! I’m glad you’ve had the opportunity to exerience them at your local restaurant. Love this grilled Moroccan chicken recipe. I’m pinning this thank you!
I’m a little surprised you guys don’t have a Moroccan restaurant in Glasgow! When we visited there, we were surprised at the huge variety of food options. I think we ended up eating Thai one night if I recall. Check out Yelp…you never know. Maybe a Moroccan place has opened up! Also, I’m jealous that you’ve gotten the chance to visit Morocco. It seems like an awesome place. Thanks so much, Neil!
How interesting! I usually use Yelp as a source of entertainment. I like to guffaw at people’s crazy ideas of argument, and then marvel at their loose grip on English grammar. (I’m one of the cultural elite, just doing what I’m supposed to, apparently.) My husband, though, uses Yelp in a way similar to yours, looking more at the big picture than the individual reviews, and I think this does make sense. There’s something worthwhile in the aggregate. Beyond that, though, I don’t trust them. In fact, I’ve toyed with the idea of creating a website dedicated to the critique of individual Yelp reviews, but I fear that would be a form of trolling, and the cultural elite do not troll. Rather, we judge from afar. Or above. Or maybe from far above.
You know, I’ve never really dug into the individual posts on Yelp. Sometimes I’ll just scan the reviews to see if a certain dish pops up a bunch…that way we know it’s something to order. But I can only imagine the reviews and the hilarity involved. I’ve dig into the world of Amazon reviews, and it never ceases to amaze me. If you did start that Yelp review website, I would be your first reader…but only from far above, of course.
I totally use Yelp a lot too! And Trip Advisor, where I post reviews sometimes. It’s definitely helpful when traveling. I’m planning my cross-country trip and have been using those as well as the Bring Fido app since my dog is coming with 🙂
I occasionally post reviews on Trip Advisor, but I’ve gotten away from that. No real reason other than I just forget to do it. And I don’t post reviews on Yelp, but I really should considering how much we use it when we travel! I’m looking forward to hearing about your cross-country trip, Nicole. I’ll have to check out the Bring Fido app…you always have the best app suggestions!
That’s so awesome finding new places to try in our own city! Ours is not too big, but it’s always nice to check and see what reviews are as a good guide. Love that this chicken can be prepped the night before and get a good marinade goin’ and just cook when ready. Your grill marks are spot on, my friend 😉
So our city (town really) isn’t that big either, Dawn. It’s a typical suburban town though. Plenty of chain restaurants and big box stores, but a number of local restaurants have been popping up lately. As much as we love to cook here at home, sometimes you just need a night out! 🙂 Thanks so much, my friend!
I have never tried Moroccan food, but I have a feeling that I would enjoy this chicken. It’always a good thing when you find a restaurant that you like.
Moroccan food was new to me, too, Dawn…but I’ve gotta say that the flavors were really nice. This chicken is a new favorite around here! Nice and easy, and it’s packed with flavor. Thanks so much!
I love Moroccan food. The combination of the ingredients used always gives a mouth-watering result, like this perfectly grilled chicken you are sharing here 🙂
Hey Muna! Long time, no talk. 🙂 I am definitely a new fan of Moroccan food. I wasn’t so sure at first, but I am totally on board now…I love the flavor combinations! This grilled chicken has made several appearances in our house recently. It’s quite tasty!
Glad you found another nice restaurant for your date nights. I am a huge fan of Moroccan flavours, we have a few Moroccan restaurants here in London too one of them has a great cookbook collection – Moro cookbooks which feature great recipes. Your Grilled Moroccan Chicken looks mouthwatering – can’t wait for lunch now, I always leave your blog hungry 🙂
I’ll have to go check out that Moro cookbook, Miriam! I’ve really gotten into the Moroccan flavors lately after we found that new restaurant here in town. It’s like another world of options opened up in terms of flavor profiles! This Grilled Chicken was really quite tasty, and we’ve made it a couple of times this summer. Thanks so much for the kind words, my friend!
I want to hop a plane just for the buffalo mozzarella bar! 😉
Love that you recreated this amazing chicken dish at home. So excited to try it! It looks so tender and delicious!
Tell me about it, Marissa! Buffalo mozzarella bars should be in every town…everywhere! (That restaurant actually has several locations with a few in the US. They import their cheeses from Italy, so check it out. The restaurant name is Obica.)
This grilled chicken really is tasty, too, Marissa. It’s a great way to mix up the grilling routine. 🙂 Hope you had a fun weekend!
I do use Yelp, although it does make me scratch my head sometimes. Reviews can be all over the map, with one person raving about how good a place is, the next raving about how horrible… still, the overall ratings are usually a pretty reliable guide. Or at least enough of one to make it worth trying a place out for myself. And like you, I’ve discovered some local ‘gems’ through Yelp that I would probably not have known about otherwise.
This Moroccan chicken sounds awesome. I love that combination of flavors in the marinade. I’d love to give it a go—if the weather would cooperate. With all the rain we’ve been having, I think we’ve been able to grill maybe 2 or 3 times this whole summer…
I totally agree with you about the micro-level of Yelp, Frank. Jeff makes a good point about that in his comment, too. To be honest, I rarely ever read the actual reviews. I might skim one or two, but for the most part I search at the macro level. If a place gets enough stars from enough reviewers, then I’m willing to look a little closer at the menu.
I hear ya about the rain! Holy cow we’ve had a ton here in upstate New York, too. But it looks like we might be hitting a stretch of drier weather coming ahead. Hopefully you get the chance to get that new grill out, my friend! 🙂
David, I always manage to learn something new from your posts and today it’s that I need to consider Yelp the next time we are in Italy! I didn’t think to use it there when we were in the city and gosh darn – what a brilliant idea! BTW, we did get to taste buffalo mozzarella at a Mozzarella Production place on the way to Amalfi when we went last year – Lil S was in cheese heaven!
In the Atl or even Athens, we don’t eat out much – in fact, most days, I’d rather whip up delicious and nostril-arousing dishes like this gorgeously spiced Moroccan chicken instead of eating out! Fantastic recipe, my friend!
Why thank you very much, Shashi! I wasn’t even sure if Yelp would work in other countries, but it does…and it led us to a mozzarella bar! 🙂 In fact, that restaurant has 2 locations in NYC, so next time you come up, but it on the list! (Name is Obica…and they fly their buffalo mozzarella in from Italy.)
Like you, we make food at home more than we eat out, but sometimes it’s just nice to check out for a night, right? This Moroccan chicken turned out quite well, so thank you my friend! 🙂