Baked Moroccan Chicken with Sweet Potato and Olives

Baked Moroccan Chicken with sweet potatoes topped with cilantro and olives in a glass baking dish

Sweet, spiced and delicious. This baked Moroccan chicken dish comes together quickly and easily thanks to my Moroccan spice mix. If you need a nourishing meal on a busy night, look no further!

I was born in North Africa and grew up eating a lot of Arabic food. I remember spending time at my extended family’s homes where we would eat traditional Algerian food like Cous Cous with Lamb, Harira, which is a traditional Moroccan soup and desserts like Macroud, a popular dessert made with semolina, flour and date paste.

Arabic food bursts with flavour. My father’s family originally came from Morocco and were all born and raised there. Growing up, I heard a lot of stories of the way his family ate and lived. Being one of twelve children, food was bought in bulk and was a lot cheaper to today how things are today.

The main element that brings the flavour to Arabic food is the spices Arab women use in their cooking. One spice in particular; cumin is popularly found in many of their dishes.

People have been consuming this spice since Biblical times (Is. 28:25, Mat. 23:23). Cumin is not only a wonderful spice that’s enjoyed by many all over the world, but it also holds many health benefits.

What is Cumin?

Native to the Middle East, cumin comes from a small plant that grows to about 2 feet tall. This aromatic plant flowers and is from the family of parsley. Cumin powder, that can be found at shops, is ground from cumin seeds. These seeds are dried fruit that come from the plant. They are long with ridges and are a brownish colour.

Generally, I prefer ground cumin to cumin seeds for better flavour and digestibility.

Spices are generally very health giving foods. Cumin is most definitely one of them.

Cumin seeds are filled with vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C as well as minerals like Manganese, Iron, Copper and Zinc.

Baked Moroccan Chicken with Sweet Potato and Olives

Side view of baked Moroccan chicken with sweet potatoes, cilantro and green olives in a glass baking dish

I mixed up some spices one day out of creativity using cumin as one of the main spices and ended up creating a mix that I have come to love in my cooking.

This spice mix is what I use for this easy weeknight dish. I truly am glad to have to do minimal work and let the spices flavour the food while the whole dish bakes slowly in the oven.

I add the olives and cilantro after the meal is cooked as I prefer these ingredients fresh rather than over baked. But, you could add the olives in to bake with the chicken if you like your olives cooked.

This recipe feeds 4.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbs Olive oil
  • 3-4 medium sweet potatoes
  • About 1/2 cup of olives (I use green olives)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 Tbs of this spice mix
  • A handful of finely chopped cilantro

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F
  2. In a large baking dish, add the olive oil
  3. Chop the onion and garlic and add to one side of the dish
  4. Wash, peel and chop the sweet potatoes into roughly 1 inch cubes
  5. Add the sweet potatoes to the other side of the dish
  6. Place chicken breasts on top of onions and garlic
  7. With a spoon, sprinkle the spice mix over the chicken coating it well
  8. Turn the chicken over and coat the other side with the spice mix
  9. Bake for 1 hour-1 hour and 15 mins until chicken is cooked through but not dry
  10. Remove from the oven and cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise
  11. Add olives and cilantro
  12. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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