Moroccan chicken with cauliflower pilaf

Low in carb but high in flavour.

  • 1 hr cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
The warm colours and flavours of Moroccan food start with an assortment of wonderful spices. Harissa, paprika, ras el hanout, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and saffron, the spices are balanced to enhance the flavour of the food, while the aroma readies the appetite for what is to come. Ensure you use fresh spices that retain their fragrant flavour and aroma.


  • 8 chicken drumsticks (1.2kg)
  • 2 tablespoons moroccan spice mix
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions (340g), cut into wedges
  • 4 wedges preserved lemon, flesh removed, one thinly sliced
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
cauliflower pilaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 400 grams canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 small cauliflower (1kg), stems chopped finely, florets chopped coarsely
  • ¹⁄³ cup (45g) pistachios
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Oil two large shallow oven trays; line with baking paper.
  • 2
    Place chicken, spice mix and half the oil in a large bowl; toss to coat chicken in spice mix. Season.
  • 3
    Heat half the remaining oil in a large deep frying pan over high heat; cook chicken, in batches, for 3 minutes or until browned. Transfer to one of the trays.
  • 4
    Heat remaining oil in same pan; cook onion, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes, or until softened slightly. Transfer onion to remaining oven tray. Roast onion for 15 minutes and chicken for 25 minutes or until cooked.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, make cauliflower pilaf. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat; cook chickpeas, stirring occasionally, for
    4 minutes or until they start to make a popping sound. Meanwhile, process cauliflower, in batches, until finely chopped. Add to frying pan; cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes or until cauliflower is just tender. Stir in remaining ingredients; season to taste.
  • 6
    Serve pilaf topped with chicken and onions, sprinkled with preserved lemons and parsley.


Chicken thigh fillets would also work well in this recipe. Preserved lemon is a North African specialty. Only the rind is used; remove and discard the flesh from the rind. Rinse the rind well under cold water before use.

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