Moroccan roast chicken with apricots

Come rain or shine, serve up this sumac-marinated spatchcocked bird, that can be barbecued or oven cooked, with a sweet, fruity accompaniment

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:50 mins
    Plus 1-2 days marinating
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 677
  • fat 41g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 19g
  • sugars 17g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 55g
  • salt 0.6g


  • 2 small chicken
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • small bunch coriander
  • 2 tbsp sumac (see tip, below)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seed
  • 1 tbsp fennel seed
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • zest and juice 2 lemons
  • 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 250g natural yogurt, mixed with 1-2 pinches saffron, to serve
  • 12 apricots, halved and stoned
  • 2 preserved lemons, rinsed, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar


Spatchcocking chicken
To spatchcock, lay the chicken breast-side down and cut with kitchen scissors along either side of the backbone, removing it. Flip the chicken over, open out like a book and press to an even thickness with your hands.Sumac
Sumac is a sweet and sour, lemony spice made from ground berries. Find it in larger supermarkets or at


  1. Spatchcock the chickens – see tip, below, or ask your butcher to do it for you. Put the olive oil, coriander, sumac, cumin, fennel, chilli, garlic, lemon zest and juice, pomegranate molasses and some ground black pepper into a food processor or blender, and whizz to a paste. Divide between 2 large food bags, add a chicken to each, then squeeze out the air and seal before giving everything a good squelch to coat thoroughly. Marinate for 24-48 hrs in the fridge, turning and squishing every so often.

  2. Fire up a barbecue and let the flames die down, or heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Lift the chicken out of the bags and season well with salt. Barbecue or roast the chicken for 25-30 mins on each side until crisp and cooked through. Set aside on a platter, loosely cover with foil, to rest while you do the apricots. If you roasted rather than barbecued, keep the tin juices warm for serving.

  3. Put the apricots in a small, snug roasting tin. Whisk the preserved lemon, honey, orange blossom and vinegar with some seasoning. Pour over the apricots and roast, or sit on the barbecue, for 20 mins until soft.

  4. Serve the chicken with any cooking juices, the apricots and saffron yogurt.

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