This Moroccan Roasted Chicken starts with a rub of warm spices that include cinnamon, cumin, chili and mint. Roasted on top of fall vegetables all in one pan and it’s an easy mid-week dinner. I served it alongside some yogurt, green lentils and pomegranate arils for a festive and delicious dinner. After all the recent holiday feasting we needed a lighter meal and this hit the spot.
This one started when I was working on a dinner for a friend who was arriving from out of town and didn’t eat meat. We do eat meat and I wanted something versatile, that used the same spices and would be perfectly filling and healthy without the chicken I had purchased for us.
The weather has gotten cooler and one pan, roasted dinners are on the top of my list.
I opted to do a riff on my Moroccan Smothered Chicken and Barley. The French green lentils I picked up the other day inspired me and roasted vegetables are always a winner, so this came together rather quickly.
The warm, spiced, dry rubbed chicken thighs slowly rendering any fat basted the butternut squash, red onions, carrots and peppers underneath, and added maximum flavor.
I made a separate dish of the roasted vegetables for my friend for those wondering and tossed the vegetables in the spice blend and olive oil.
A cold salad of the cooked, firm green lentils that I tossed with some salt, lemon zest and olive oil was perfect with some plain Greek yogurt. A sprinkle of pomegranate arils for color and flavor and dinner was done. And tasty. 🙂
For other baked or roasted chicken dinners, try my Easy Baked Greek Chicken, Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice, Cherry Roasted Honey Chicken, Apricot Baked Chicken or this Five Spice Roasted Chicken Thighs. Enjoy!
- 4 chicken thighs boneless and skinless
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp dried mint
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
- 2 cups butternut squash cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 cup carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 red onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1/2 inch strips
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- kosher salt to taste
- 1 cup Greek yogurt plain
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- Preheat oven to 425°F. In a small saucepan place the lentils and bay leaves. Cover with water to 2 inches above lentils and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low, and simmer until tender, 20-22 minutes. (See Note 1) Drain and cool in the refrigerator.
- Combine the spice blend ingredients in a small bowl and rub the chicken thighs with half of the spice mixture.
- In a bowl toss together the vegetables and remaining spice blend and olive oil. Place vegetables in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or deep 13”x9” baking dish. Lay the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables and roast until tender and browned, 25-30 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaves from the drained, cooled lentils. Mix together in a bowl with olive oil, salt and lemon juice and zest from half the lemon.
- Dived the yogurt on each plate and top with a 1/2 cup of the lentils. Serve the roasted vegetables and chicken alongside and top with pomegranate arils and chopped parsley.
- I like to use Petite French Style green lentils from Bob’s Red Mill. They stay firm and don’t turn to mush and are perfect for cold salads.