Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Thighs
Every once in a while, I combine a few ingredients and they work together from the very start. This spice blend is one of those magical mysteries. I’ve tripled the recipe so you can keep enough on hand to use for weeks on chicken, fish, and any type of roasted vegetable. For the protein, Belcampo’s Chicken Thighs are perfect. The skin renders in the oven or on the grill, leaving you with a crispy, crunchy exterior and juicy chicken with every bite. This also works really well as a marinade for simpler cuts like boneless, skinless chicken breasts or seafood. Simply add a few teaspoons of olive or coconut oil with a tablespoon of the spice rub and a generous pinch of salt before marinating anything. The spice rub will last in your pantry for up to 2 months.
For the Spice Rub
- 4 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp ground coriander
- 2 Tbsp ground turmeric
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Belcampo bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Kosher Salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
For the Chermoula (Optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 cups coarsely chopped cilantro, parsley, mint or combination of the three
- 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or sesame oil
For the Chicken
- To make the spice blend, combine all of the spices through the black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the spice blend, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and the olive oil. Whisk to combine, then add the chicken pieces, turning them to ensure they are coated evenly. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours, or marinate at room temperature for up to an hour before grilling.
- When ready to cook, preheat the grill or an oven to 375 degrees F. Allow the chicken to be at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking. If grilling, place the chicken directly on the grill grates and cook, turning once, until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees F, about 30-40 minutes.
- If baking, place the chicken on a small baking sheet or in a small roasting dish, skin-side up. Bake for 25 minutes before checking for doneness. It may take up to 40 minutes total. While the chicken is cooking, make the chermoula if using.
- Allow the chicken thighs to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a drizzle of the chermoula or alongside roasted vegetables.
For the Chermoula
- Place the garlic in the food processor and pulse a few times to break it up. Add the herbs, the lemon juice, the spices, and ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Pulse until the herbs are a thick paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- With the motor running, slowly add the oil until a sauce begins to form, pureeing the herbs to your desired texture. Taste, adding more salt or pepper if desired.
Recipes by Amanda Haas (exclusively for Belcampo Meat Co.)
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