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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 | @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 | @hbharvest

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | @hbharvest

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | @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 | @hbharvest

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | @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 | @hbharvest

Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine | @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: 473 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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  • 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 | @hbharvest

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

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  1. This was so delicious!! Everything I love is in this dish(laugh)!! This will definitely become a staple in my home.
    Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    This was really really good. I was very happy with how it turned out and I will definitely make it again and I would make it for company. It did take a lot longer than 30 minutes to cook though.

  3. I love the flavors and the beauty of this Chicken!Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine My taste buds love this. This is the best recipe I’ve made for dinner, hands down, and I have tried a lot of different recipes.This was really good. Thanks

  4. 5 stars
    Wow, ANOTHER winner! I don’t tend to eat chicken that much because I find it bland. But not this one! This dish was incredible, and the sauce that formed with the couscous and the pomegranates. Oh my goodness. I have leftovers for lunch and I can’t wait to dive in, that’s how I know it’s a great recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Hello Tieghan!,
    I just made this dish here in snowy Montana and it has to be the BEST dish I have ever made!!1 How did you come up with such an amazing dish! I LOVE THIS DISH! The dates, pom seeds, olives everything just blends in perfectly, especially the dates!!! I think the dates are the best part and I will be making this dish often! This dish is amazing!!! I just have to find some bread just to get all the remaining sauce!

    1. This makes so so happy! I am so glad you loved this Deborah and I hope you enjoy other recipes on the blog as well! Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was AMAZING!! The guys at the meat counter gave me massive chicken breasts, so I added another 15 minutes onto the baking time, and it turned out perfectly (though it wasn’t as browned and pretty as your photos… I’m sure a few minutes under the broiler would have fixed that, but I’m too impatient). The flavors were phenomenal, and so exciting after a week of soup and sandwiches! Thank you so much for helping me make such an exciting meal!

  7. I made this last night! Subbed out chunks of yam for the squash, and had to omit the olives for my picky kids… 🙁 but it was fantastic! I served it with brown rice and did top it with fresh cilantro at the end. just had it again for breakfast with a poached egg and arugula. I’m now obsessed with this dish and am wondering if I could add a little coconut milk at the end to it too… thank you for this new staple to my repertoire!

  8. 5 stars
    I made this tonight. I was fabulous! I didn’t have any dates, so I substituted dried apricots (a regular in Moroccan cooking) and they were a delicious addition. Going to try delicata squash next time as you can eat the skin of that one.
    Thank you for being such an inspiration. You’ve definitely re-ignited my enthusiasm for cooking.

  9. 5 stars
    This was ridiculous…as in fabulously wonderful. Brilliant assortment of flavors. I used thighs and that was indeed fall-off-the bone tender. The only other addition I made was to roast broccoli (in a separate pan, of course). THANKS! Look forward to your Radio Cherry Bomb interview.

  10. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan! I just made this for dinner. It was so delicious! All the flavors were amazing. Sweet, salty and spicy all at the same time. I used butternut squash because I had it on hand. I also made basmati rice to go with it. I might just put the rice in the pan next time and cook it all together to soak up the juice because it is sooo tasty! The dates were my favorite part! This is the third recipe I’ve tried since Sunday. Can’t wait to try another soon!

  11. I really love Moroccan spices and flavors, I’m surprised that I don’t make these types of dishes more often! Amen on the skin-on chicken too.

  12. I hear ya about having thanksgiving staples and not being interested in further exploring the world of thanksgiving foods. We have been alll about pan roasted chicken dishes like this lately!! This one sounds so so good!! I love the brininess olives add! Pinning to make after Turkey Day!!

  13. 5 stars
    Oh YEAH! This hits the spot, Tiegh! Absolutely my taste! Skin on chicken is the best, because it is not dry at all, it keeps alll the juices while cooking and the flesh stays soft. And do we even need to talk about squash? I’m surprised I didn’t turn into one already with the amount I’m eating almost every single day. This dish also definitely needs those olives, they bring so much flavour and I absolutely love them! I know almost every Moroccan meal contains dates so it is only natural to put them here as well. It’s a pleasant combination with all other flavours. Once again, you did something outstanding, Tieghan. This is not only a dish, it’s a masterpiece! And there is never enough of chicken recipes, right?
    Have a nice day!