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Moroccan Chicken with Apricot-and-Olive Relish

This grilled chicken dish transforms the sweet-savory elements of a Moroccan tagine--apricots, olives, couscous--into a light, summery meal. The marinade and relish are both flavored with eucalyptus honey, which has a deep, herbal flavor that's delicious with the smoky chicken. Plus, the honey caramelizes on the grill, which makes the chicken extra-crispy.


slideshow  More Grilled Chicken Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/4 cup eucalyptus honey
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs on the bone, with skin (2 3/4 pounds)
  • Boiling water
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 20 green olives, such as Cerignola or Picholine, pitted (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. In a bowl, whisk the honey with 1/4 cup of the canola oil and the lemon juice, grated ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, pimentón, cayenne, salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken in a glass baking dish. Pour the marinade on top and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning once.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Drain the chicken and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet; reserve the marinade. Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the foil and discard any juices from the baking sheet.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, pour boiling water over the apricots to cover and let stand until plump, 8 minutes; drain.
  4. In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until softened, 6 minutes. Add the apricots, olives and the reserved marinade and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately high heat until the marinade is thickened and glazes the apricots and olives, 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.
  5. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the chicken over moderately high heat, turning once, until charred in spots and the skin is crisp, 6 minutes. Transfer to plates, top with the apricot-olive relish and serve.

Serve With


Suggested Pairing

Honey can be difficult to pair with wine, but here it's more a grace note than a dominant flavor. Given the sweet-tangy Mediterranean flavors, try pouring a Mediterranean rosé, which will complement the chicken with its red wine–like fruitiness and white wine–like acidity.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published August 2008

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