Moroccan Chicken with Apricot-and-Olive Relish

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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. More Grilled Chicken Recipes

Moroccan Chicken with Apricot-and-Olive Relish
Photo: © Quentin Bacon
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 15 mins
Yield:
4

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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

Couscous.

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.

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