North African Spiced Chicken

by Pamela

North African Spiced Chicken

Let’s face it, chicken can get really boring. I mean, really boring. I’m out to banish boring chicken and this North African spiced chicken is definitely far from boring.

So I was bored one night, when I was waiting for Craig to come home from work and I didn’t really have anything that I needed to do so I turned on the TV and ended up watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I’m not getting into a discussion about the show here, but suffice it to say I didn’t find anything else on the tube to watch. But I’m really glad I sat through it.

He went to this little place called Geechee Girl and she made this amazing sounding chicken. (North African spiced chicken.) I understand her restaurant isn’t around any more, but I took notes on how she made that chicken. And it’s soooo easy!

North African Spiced Chicken

She used a cut up whole chicken when she made this, so you could do that as well (you’ll need more seasoning) but I just wanted to make up a package of chicken thighs that I had lying around in my freezer. I love cooking with chicken thighs. They’ve got a lot more flavor than the breast and it’s pretty hard to dry them out, unlike the white meat in the chicken breast that almost always seem to taste dry no matter what I do.

This chicken pairs really nicely with just about any side you throw at it. I served it with some quinoa I already had in the fridge.

I know the ingredients make it sound like it will have a strong flavor, but all of the seasonings end up balancing each other out and it has a really nice flavor.

Break out of that boring chicken rut and make this North African chicken!

North African Spiced Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chicken can get pretty boring, but this North African chicken is full of spices and seasonings that make it anything but boring.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: North African
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Make sure baking rack is in the bottom third of the oven.
  3. Add cumin, oregano and garlic to a small dish. Add just enough olive oil to form a paste. Stir to thoroughly combine everything.
  4. Juice the orange and lemon (saving the juice) and cut the the skins into quarters and set aside.
  5. Arrange chicken thighs on a plate and cut off any excess skin that might be on the thighs.
  6. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken.
  7. Liberally smear the cumin, oregano garlic mixture onto both sides of the chicken.
  8. Heat up a medium sized skillet over medium high heat and add the chicken to the skillet.
  9. Cook for 3 minutes on each side.
  10. Remove the chicken to an 8"x8" baking pan and add the juices to the skillet (be careful doing this because it will spatter A LOT). Then also add ½ cup of water.
  11. Add the cut up fruit rinds to the skillet
  12. Scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the pan and cook this mixture for 2 minutes.
  13. Pour this whole thing over top of the chicken thighs.
  14. Slide the baking pan into the oven and cook for 45 minutes.
  15. Remove from the oven and serve.



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Kariña Monroe January 26, 2019 at 6:47 pm

Loved it!! Served with jasmine rice. Complex flavor profile. The cumin really mellows out and the acidity of the lemon/orange mix pulls it all together. I will definitely make this again. Thanks so much for posting.

Pamela February 3, 2019 at 9:20 am

Thanks for the feedback Kariña. So glad you liked it!

Kariña Monroe January 26, 2019 at 2:26 pm

The Geechee Girl Café and this chicken dish were just featured on Diners, Dives and Drive-ins last night. Thank for posting, as it looked so good I decided I’d try it tonight.

Pamela January 26, 2019 at 6:26 pm

Hi Kariña, I hope you enjoy the chicken! We love it around here. 🙂

sippitysup June 2, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Inspired (and delicious). GREG

Pamela June 3, 2016 at 10:51 am

Thanks Greg! 🙂

Nancie June 1, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Yum, his looks great! I love (LOVE!) African and Middle Eastern-style recipes.

John/Kitchen Riffs June 1, 2016 at 9:07 am

Love North African flavors! They go so nicely with chicken (or beef, or lamb). Terrific, tasty dish here — and easy! Agree with you on the thighs — so much more flavor. Anyway, good stuff — thanks.

Pamela June 3, 2016 at 10:54 am

Thanks John. Yes, this rub could also be used on beef or lamb and it would taste just as good.

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