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Roasted Chicken with Moroccan 6 Spices

Roast chicken seems to me to be an often overlooked meal. There are few times when I buy a whole chicken but whenever I do the meal is always warmly received. This recipe is no different.

At my engagement party in Morocco my sister in law cooked the most amazing chicken dish. It was spiced on the outside with a golden crust. The inside was full of vermicelli noodles with olives and equally spiced to perfection. I remember thinking how strange it was and then immediately forgetting all about that and devouring it while licking my fingers at the end.

To this day it’s still my favorite meal and I often ask for it. I haven’t been able to replicate it – I have a feeling it’s one of those dishes that only taste as good where they are served and from a certain set of hands. That’s why I’m not going to try and re-create it. It would take some of the beauty away from a simple meal. Instead I’ll share my own take on the dish – but no stuffing from me!

Black plate with small piles of the spices cumin, turmeric, and ginger.
Moroccan roast chicken cooked in a roasting pan from above.
Yield: 6 servings

Roasted Chicken with Moroccan 6 Spices

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

A simple roast chicken recipe using Moroccan spices and lemon for a boost of flavor.


  • 1 whole free range chicken
  • juice of 1 lemon + zest 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2-3 tsp olive oil


Whole raw chicken on a tray with a lemon cut in half and spice mixture in the foreground.

Clean chicken well and remove skin.  I use paper towels to dry off the outside of the chicken and the cavity.  Too much liquid causes the marinade to drip off. 

Add lemon juice to spice mixture and stir.  Slowly add olive oil.  You may not need the full amount (depending on how much juice your lemons yielded).  Your mixture should be a loose paste.

Whole raw chicken coated in seasoning marinade on a baking tray.

Cover chicken with marinade, making sure to get all areas of the chicken covered.  Any remaining marinade can be used to rub inside of the cavity.

Insert the lemon rinds into the cavity of the chicken.  This will help it keep its shape and also infuse flavor.  

At this point the chicken can;

a) marinade in the fridge for between 30 minutes - overnight or

b) go straight into a preheated 375F oven for 2-2.5 hours.  

The outside should be a golden color when cooked through.I also make a sauce reduction using the drippings from the pan and 1 cup of chicken broth in a sauce pan.  

Flavor with some more of the 6 spice mixture.  

Cook on medium high until it reduces to a thick sauce.  You could also add some cornstarch in the beginning to thicken and ensure you have enough sauce.  

Olives can also be added to the sauce mixture.

This can be served with a Moroccan salad such as a Moroccan potato salad or a simple green salad.  Serve with bread, or it can be eaten with a fork and knife.

Moroccan roast chicken cooked in a roasting pan from above.

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Friday 12th of May 2023

I am assuming I can also do this on bone-in chicken breasts on the grill? Visiting Morocco in October and so looking forward to it!

Amanda Mouttaki

Thursday 22nd of June 2023

Yes you can!


Monday 15th of June 2020

I made this for my family last night, and we LOVED the outcome - thank you for sharing this recipe! One thing, though - at 350, our chicken took a lot longer to cook than 30-45 minutes.

Amanda Mouttaki

Saturday 20th of June 2020

Glad you liked it. I think it also will depend on the size of the chicken etc but I'll run an extra test soon to see if the time needs to be adjusted.

Sunday 9th of February 2020

Do you know the calories for this dish please?

Amanda Mouttaki

Monday 10th of February 2020

No idea really - sorry!

29 Keto-Friendly Moroccan Recipes - MarocMama

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

[…] up a chicken is a great way to make an easy keto-friendly meal for your family, and this Roasted Chicken with Moroccan 6 Spices will really impress them. The seasonings are so tasty and fresh, people may think you slaved over […]

MarocMama meets MarocBaba | marocmama.com

Monday 9th of January 2012

[...] henna painted on my hands and feet.  I truly felt so special.  For dinner there was a fantastic chicken dish that is my absolute favorite.  It was a shame that the evening had to end.  It wasn’t long [...]

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