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Moroccan Chicken with Sliced Almonds

Preparing chicken in this Moroccan-inspired sauce allows it to absorb the wonderfully exotic complement of spices seldom enjoyed west of Casablanca. For ease of preparation, you can simmer the chicken a day ahead and allow it to sit in the sauce overnight. This step also allows the complexity of flavors to intensify.

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1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup cold water (or chicken broth)
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground turmeric
teaspoon ground coriander
teaspoon freshly ground pepper
teaspoon coarse salt
teaspoon saffron threads (or 1 teaspoon saffron powder)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cut-up chicken (3 pounds)
6 tablespoons sliced almonds
4 sprigs fresh cilantro


Serves: 4


Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Add the onion. Cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the water, cinnamon, gin­ger, cumin, turmeric, coriander, pepper, salt, saffron, and lemon juice and blend well. Add the chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, turning the chicken over after 15 minutes. (At this point, you can refrigerate the dish for completion later. Cover the Dutch oven and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with a nonstick vegetable spray. Place the chicken (reserve the sauce, and taste for seasoning) on the baking sheet. Pour enough sauce over the chicken to coat the pieces evenly. Distribute the almonds over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, reheat the reserved sauce in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning.

To serve, place a chicken breast on each of four dinner plates and spoon some sauce over each serving. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.


5g carbohydrates, 984 calories, 98g protein, 61g fat, 2g dietary fiber, 528mg sodium, 302mg cholesterol

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