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Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine…because we still need a good, easy, healthy dinner to eat in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I know, I know. Thanksgiving is in t-minus eight days and I should probably be telling you about a stuffing recipe or an easy appetizer right about now, but do you want the truth?

I have a stuffing recipe that I love and have no interest in creating another one, and okay, I am slightly over the Thanksgiving recipes. All of my favorites have been posted (see my 2017 Thanksgiving menu and guide here) and at this point I am feeling pretty ready (and excited) for Turkey Day. Of course I have a couple more recipes coming your way later this week and early next (I mean, you know me, I couldn’t leave you hanging without those idiot proof last-minute recipes), but in the meantime I’m feeling like a good dinner is in order.

And this chicken? Trust me it is GOOD.

Here’s the preface to this recipe. My brother, Brendan and his girlfriend, Lyndsie where recently in Morocco, it was their trip that inspired me to create this simple recipe. They kept sending me photos of these incredible looking, veggie filled Moroccan Tagines that they were constantly eating during their time there. I’ve always loved the flavors going on in Moroccan style food, so I thought I’d make my own simple version of the dishes they were eating.

Enter this skillet roasted Moroccan chicken with plenty of roasted squash, olives, and sweet dates.

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Originally, when I set out to make this recipe I was thinking of doing a veggie based Tagine. From what Bren has informed me, veggie and lamb Tagines are of the most common in Morocco. I didn’t want to use lamb since it’s a little pricy and requires a longer cooking time, so I thought I would just do a veggie dish.

That is until the skin on, bone in chicken breasts sitting in my fridge screamed at me to roast them up in Moroccan spices. I just couldn’t ignore their screaming, so I seasoned them up, seared them in a skillet with my favorite Moroccan spices and then finished slowly roasting them in the oven alongside some kabocha squash, olives, and dates.

About forty or so minutes later the house smelled incredible and I had the most gorgeous, skillet roasted chicken dinner in front of me.

I kind of love when I start out to make a recipe a certain way, but then change it entirely, and that said recipes ends up being one of my favorites ever. This doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, I get a little too excited.

PS. in the last couple months I’ve decided that skin on, bone in chicken breasts are the most flavorful way to cook chicken breasts. The taste is not even comparable to boneless, skinless breasts.

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

This chicken is fall off the bone tender, seasoned with smoked paprika, cumin, and a little cayenne for heat, and then slow roasted in chicken broth. The broth keeps the chicken moist and makes for a for a nice pan sauce. I really wanted to create a one-pot style meal, so I ended up just tossing my squash in right alongside the chicken. Not only does this make for quick and easy clean up, but the squash gets roasted in the chicken fat, which makes for the most delicious veggie side.

Again, it’s so good.

To round out the dinner, I added olives for saltiness and dates for sweetness. Both are extremely traditional in Moroccan cooking, but really, I just love that sweet and salty combo…but you probably already know that.

If time allows, I would recommend cooking up some couscous while the chicken roasts. Rice and quinoa would both be great too.

Oh, and I wouldn’t judge if you wanted to sprinkle over a little goat cheese. In fact, I’d think that was pretty genius.

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 282 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 pounds skin on, bone-in chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 inch fresh ginger thinly sliced
  • 1-2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 medium acorn or kabocha squash, seeded and sliced into half moons
  • 1/2 cup mixed olives, pitted
  • 8 fresh medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • arils from 1 pomegranate
  • fresh cilantro or mint for serving

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt, and a pinch of pepper.
    2. Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large dutch oven or cast iron skillet set over medium high heat. Rub the chicken all over with the spice mixture, reserving any remaining spices left in the bowl. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet. 
    3. To the same skillet, add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to low. Slide the chicken back into the skillet, skin side up, it should be mostly submerged. Arrange the squash around the chicken. Drizzle lightly with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle any remaining spice mix over the dish. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the olives and dates, and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. 
    4. Serve the chicken topped with pomegranate, cilantro, and the pan juices in the skillet. EAT!
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Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

What chicken looks like when it’s delicious…and not boring.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is an amazing recipe. The flavors of the spices and the contrast of salty olives and sweet dates and ginger were perfect. I used a package of chicken tenders and they were perfectly cooked. I used a traditional tagine on the stove top to sear the chicken and veggies then finished them in the oven. Left overs were even better the next day. Fabulous! Will be making this again! Thanks Tieghan

    1. Hey Melinda,
      Happy Monday! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback!! Have the best week:) xx

  2. 5 stars
    This was PHENOM. Felt fancy, easy to make, tasted awesome, and the leftovers are great (and I usually don’t like like chicken leftovers). We threw some goat cheese on as you suggest and it was perfect.
    Question for you, Tieghan — is there a reason you wouldn’t peel the squash? It looked nice with the peel but it was kind annoying to actually eat around it.
    (Also, as a note to others and myself for next time — we used boneless skinless chicken breasts because that’s what we had; we butterflied them thinking they’d be too thick but we shouldn’t have because even in the brothy liquid they started to get a teensy bit overcooked given how long the squash takes! This would totally be worth it with bone-in skin-on chicken breasts!)

    1. Hey Meghan,
      I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks a lot for giving it a try!! I like to leave the skin on the squash so it doesn’t become mushy. xxT

  3. Love your recipes, but your prep times are WAY off. You often say 15 minutes and they usually take double that or more. 15 minutes for all of this and the cooking on the stovetop?! No way. Took an hour of work before it went into the oven.

    1. Hey there,
      So sorry this took a lot longer for you, cook times can vary from person to person. Let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    WoW!! That was amazing! I decided to cook this dish after I picked up some breasts at my favorite meat market. I already had a couple of small kabocha and a pomegranate from the farmers market, and I thought/googled chicken and squash… The next thing I know I’m half way through the recipe with a dutch oven in the oven! I had to run to the corner store for a jar of mixed pitted olives and cilantro which go in at the end of the recipe. Totally worth it!

  5. 5 stars
    My husband and I love this dish!! We make it almost once a week. We’ve made it with chicken thighs,chicken breast, and most recently Turkey breast filets. We usually leave out the squash as it’s out of season, but the flavors are fantastic! Thank you!!

  6. 4 stars
    Thank you for another great recipe. I have loved everything I’ve made from your website, and I’ve tried about a dozen! For me, this dish had one small problem just for my personal taste—I found the ginger too overwhelming and I only used about a half inch. I like ginger but somehow didn’t work for me here. But I loved everything else about it, not least of all the beautiful way the skin stays crispy while the meat cooks through. And of course the marriage of all these other great flavors. I did 2 bone-in chicken breasts (exactly 1lb each), and they took the full 30 (15 and 15) mins in the oven. Thank you so much for sharing all of your wonderful recipes!!

    1. Hi Maryam! I am so glad you have been loving my recipes and I hope you continue to! I am sorry the ginger was a bit too strong for you, and I hope you try this with less! Thank you so much! xTieghan

  7. You have quickly become my favorite food blogger. So glad I subscribed to your blog, especially since I served this, and your almond “snake” cake for guests last night. You have brought entertaining to a whole new level.

    Your recipe was so straight forward and easy to follow. The rub mix is truly what makes this awesome, and the smell emanating from my kitchen when my guests arrived was amazing. I made a few substitutions, summer squash instead of acorn squash and figs instead of dates, and served it with saffron rice on the side. The hardest part was seeding the pomegranate. I even got lucky with chicken breasts being on sale for .99/lb, and they were so big, I got away with three breasts cut in half.

    With so many people with food allergies these days, I made sure that my guests had none before I made this. It was enjoyed by all. Thank you!

    1. That is so sweet to hear! I am so glad you have been enjoying my recipes and posts, Mary! That means so much. Thank you!! xTieghan

  8. Hi Tieghan! Do you have any recommendations for making this with boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead?
    Love your recipes and so excited to try this one.
    Thanks!

    1. HI there! You can use thighs! If the sizing is all similar, the cook time should be around the same! I wouldn’t change anything else about the recipe. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    This may be my favorite of your recipes yet. It made me whoop out loud! The mix of flavors is perfect and the chicken is SO tender and juicy! All your time and love and hard work are well-spent!

  10. 5 stars
    LOVED this! Skipped the dates and didn’t miss any sweetness.

    Might make it for the holidays for my family.

  11. 5 stars
    Hi,
    Love this recipe! I noticed it was better the second night. I substituted sweet potato for the squash and added asparagus to the plate.