Skillet Chermoula Chicken
Skillet Chermoula Chicken

Chicken thighs with spicy chermoula sauce, North African parsley and coriander pesto.

Do you know Chermoula? It’s the Moroccan answer to pesto – a spicy herb sauce often used in North African cuisine.

This recipe is an easy, one-pan meal perfect for a weeknight meal. First we brown the thighs on the stove, then we coat the thighs with chermoula sauce and finally put them in the oven. A cast iron skillet works well for this because it easily fits from the stovetop to the oven.

Because of its North African flavors, my favorite way to serve this chermoula chicken is on a bed of couscous. I hope you try it!

Skillet Chermoula Chicken

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
30 minutes

total time
40 minutes

up to 6 servings


  • 6 bone-in and skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Chermoula sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cumin (or 1 teaspoon ground)

  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds whole (or 1/4 teaspoon ground)

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 1 1/2 cups medium parsley leaves

  • 1 1/2 cups medium coriander leaves and tender stems

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

special equipment

  • food processor


  1. Salt the chicken thighs:

    on both sides and let rest while you prepare the sauce.

  2. If using whole cumin and coriander seeds, lightly toast the whole cumin and coriander:

    in a small skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant. Place in a mortar and pestle and grind into a powder.

  3. Make the chermoula sauce:

    Place 4 cloves of garlic, parsley, coriander, salt, cumin, coriander, paprika and lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse repeatedly. With the engine running, slowly add 1/2 cup olive oil and then the lemon juice. Process until you have a smooth paste. You should have almost a cup of chermoula sauce.

  4. Brown Chicken Thighs in the Pan:

    Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and preheat oven to 350°F.

    Pat the chicken pieces dry and place skin-side down in the hot skillet. Let them cook until deep golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes.

    Then turn over and cook for a few more minutes.

  5. Drain excess fat:

    Since you’re working with skin on the thighs, you’re likely to render quite a bit of fat. Remove the chicken from the pan and drain excess fat. (Don’t pour down the drain unless you want to clog your drains.) Return the chicken to the pan.

  6. Spread chermoula on chicken, bake in oven:

    Spread most of the chermoula sauce on both sides of the chicken thighs, reserving 1/4 cup of the fresh sauce to add later.

    Place the skillet, skin-side up, in the 350F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the thighs are done and the temperature near the bone is 165F when tested with a meat thermometer.

  7. Spoon remaining sauce over chicken:

    Stir in the reserved fresh chermoula sauce with the pan sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken to serve.

    Serve with couscous or basmati rice for a gluten-free option.


Serious Eats Chermoula Sauce

Chermoula Sauce by David Lebovitz

Grilled Carrots with Chermoula by Naturally Ella

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!