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Moroccan-style chicken and lentils

by Sarah Alcock

Serves: 4

This delicious chicken dish was our winning Dishy Dads 2013 recipe from Philip Doyle

'My recipe was inspired by a dish at Avoca, a Moroccan restaurant in Dublin. Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend made up of more than a dozen different spices, including cumin, fennel and rose petals. You can use more or less spicy harissa paste to suit your family's palate.'


  • 4 chicken legs, skinned
  • 2 tsp ras el hanout, plus extra to serve
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 450g Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 tsp rose harissa paste
  • 2 x 400g tins Puy lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 lemons, plus the zest of a third lemon
  • 1 x 110g bag wild rocket
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C. gas 7. With a sharp knife, separate the chicken thighs and legs at the joint.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ras el hanout, 1 tablespoon of the oil and 350g of the yogurt. Add the chicken pieces, mix well and set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a shallow pan, cook 1 carrot, diced, and the harissa in ½ tablespoon of the oil, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils and 100ml of water and heat through.
  4. Add half the vinegar, season and stir in ½ tablespoon of the oil. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  5. Remove the chicken from the yogurt marinade after 20 minutes, shake off the excess and place on a baking tray.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5 and cook for a further 25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and set aside to rest.
  7. Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Halve the 2 lemons, lightly oil the cut sides and griddle them, cut-side down, for 3-4 minutes until lightly charred.
  8. Peel the second carrot into ribbons. Add to a bowl with the rocket. Dress with the remaining oil and vinegar; season.
  9. Add any chicken juices to the lentils with a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Serve the chicken with the lentils and remaining yogurt, sprinkled with lemon zest, a pinch of ras el hanout and the chopped coriander. Serve with the salad and griddled lemons.


Marinate the chicken the day before; chill

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