Moroccan Spiced Chicken, Turkey or Game Hen

This Moroccan spiced chicken recipe is a beautiful, yet simple way to prepare tender, moist chicken with the aromatic flavors of Morocco that will surprise and delight your taste buds! You can use any poultry. This is particularly good with chicken, game hens and turkey and would make a nice twist on the usual Thanksgiving turkey dinner.

Time to prepare

  • 2 hours. 30 minutes to prepare, 1.5 hours to cook. (See instructions, if you want to marinate for a few hours or overnight, adjust your prep time accordingly.)


  • 6 – 8 people


  • 2 whole 5-pound chickens or 4 small game hens.
  • 1.5 cups pomegranate concentrate
  • 1 cup red vermouth
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 TBL butter
  • 2 TBL cinnamon
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • In a saucepan on low heat, add coconut oil and spices and heat until the spices release their aroma, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the olive oil and butter and heat on low until all oils and spices are blended.
  • Add the pomegranate concentrate, red vermouth and chicken broth and simmer on lowest temperature for 1 hour.
  • While the sauce is slow cooking, prepare the chickens/game hens. Rinse them, remove giblets and neck (if they were included) and set those aside.
  • Cut up lemons into wedges and place one cut up lemon in each chicken or evenly distribute them in the game hens.
  • Once the sauce is finished, lift the skin of your chickens or game hens. You may need to use your knife gently to make a cut between the skin and meat. Gently push your fingers under the skin and separate it a bit from the meat, sort of like making a pocket for your fingers. This is so that you can put the sauce under the skin.
  • With a baster, squeeze the liquid sauce under the skin of your poultry. It will stay there during the cooking and self-baste the meat.
  • Add the remaining liquid into the cavity of the poultry with the lemon and around the pan. This will give a nice liquid medium to keep your poultry moist and tender.
  • If you have the time, you can get an even better flavor by allowing the chicken to sit in the baking pan for 1 – 4 hours before cooking, so it marinates in the sauce. Just return the poultry to the refrigerator to marinate. You could even do it the night before if you like and bake the next day.
  • Cook the poultry at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours. Check after an hour with a meat thermometer. You want the thermometer to read 160 – 165 degrees at the thickest part of the chicken or in the thigh.
  • Serve the Cornish game hens whole or cut in half. If you have made chicken or turkey, it should carve easily and be very tender.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with caramelized carrots and onions stuffing for a delicious Moroccan style meal that you and your dinner guests will love.
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As a coach, writer and recovered former executive, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle when over-scheduled. In my journey to radiant health, I created a whole health system of eating, exercise, renewal and recharging -- a roadmap toward health & vitality. I empower clients to create their own whole health systems, in their own unique ways. I have seen amazing results in working with my clients!