13 Tamuz 5781 / Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | Torah Reading: Balak
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Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas    

Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas

A simple dish to prepare, very tasty and satisfying, in a refreshing lemon sauce. The use of frozen chickpeas significantly shortens the preparation time.


Preparation Time: 45-60 minutes including cooking 

Level of Difficulty: Easy 

Kashrut Type: Meat 


Chickpeas and chicken are common throughout the Middle East, particularly in North Africa. The simple and wonderful recipe below comes from Morocco. You might have come across it in one of its variations already! 


In this version, I emphasized simplicity and speed of preparation - if you use fresh and cleaned chicken parts (instead of whole chicken in the original recipe) and frozen chickpeas, it's a few minutes of work. 


The special taste of this dish is obtained by cooking the chicken and the chickpeas in a little water with the addition of lemon juice, fried onion, garlic, turmeric, paprika, black pepper, and salt. At the end of cooking, the chicken is tender and juicy and the sauce thickens and absorbs the chicken and chickpea flavors.  


If you have the time and patience, you can use dry berries (it's economical and maybe a little more delicious). To do this, you need to soak the chickpeas and about one cup of dry berries the day before. Then, rinse, filter, and cook for about 45 minutes with a teaspoon of baking soda. Filter and rinse again (or cook for 20 minutes in a pressure cooker) and continue with the recipe as usual. 





Recipe yields 4 servings 


4 chicken legs (or 1-1.2 kg of other chicken pieces) 

2 ½ cups frozen chickpeas 

2 medium onions, finely chopped 

4 cloves of garlic, sliced 

1 teaspoon of sweet pepper (or more, to taste) 

½ teaspoon turmeric (or more, to taste) 

juice of one lemon  

2.5 cups of water 

oil for frying 

salt, black pepper 


Optional: Coriander and / or chopped parsley for serving 





  1. 1. With the chicken pieces at room temperature, gently pat them dry with paper towels 


  2. 2. Fry the chicken pieces in a little oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until golden brown. Begin frying on the skinless side and in the middle turn to the other side. When done, carefully remove from the pot, transfer to a plate and set aside. 


  2. 3. Sauté the onionsstirring occasionally in the oil until nicely golden. Add the sliced garlic cloves.  


  2. 4. Return the chicken to the saucepan and sprinkle with the paprika, turmeric, black pepper, and salt. Fry for 2-3 minutes while stirring and turning chicken parts once in a while. 


  2. 5. Add the frozen chickpeas, and then stir.  


  2. 6. Add the water and lemon juice, cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce and cook until the chickpeas are very soft (30-40 minutes on medium-low heat or about 1 hour on low heat). If the chicken pieces are not covered with liquids, turn them occasionally. 


  2. 7. Taste and adjust the seasonings according to taste. Cook without lid for a few more minutes to allow the liquid to shrink and the sauce to thicken. 


Serve with rice, couscous, or bulgur to absorb the sauce. 


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