Moroccan Spiced Chicken & Butternut Squash with Rice

Cooking time
Serves4 people
Moroccan Spiced Chicken & Butternut Squash with Rice

A succulent seasonal roast of ras al hanut-spiced chicken thighs and drumsticks baked with sweet hunks of butternut squash. Served with popping red pomegranate seeds, fresh parsley and fluffy white basmati rice.


  • 1 tbsp ras al hanut
  • 4½ tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 chicken thighs & chicken drumsticks
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 red onions
  • 300g white basmati rice
  • 600ml hot water
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 lemon
  • A large handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp cold water

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 40-45 mins - We recommend using your largest roasting tin for this recipe. If you think it looks a little overcrowded, divide the ingredients between a couple of tins – this way the roast will cook more evenly. The tin placed lower in the oven will need a little longer cooking time, or you can swap the tins round halfway.

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1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Tip 1 tbsp ras al hanut into a large bowl and mix in 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the chicken thighs and drumsticks to the bowl and rub the marinade into the chicken. Set to one side.
2. Trim the ends off the butternut squash and cut it in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds (see our tip). Cut the squash into 2-3cm cubes. There’s no need to peel the squash unless you’d prefer to. Peel the red onions and cut them into thick wedges.
3. Tumble the squash and onions into a large roasting tin (or 2 medium tins). Pour over 2 tbsp olive oil and add a good pinch of salt and pepper, then toss together. Nestle in the chicken thighs and drumsticks. Slide the tin into the oven to roast for 40-45 mins.
4. When the chicken has 20 mins left to cook, fill and boil your kettle. Rinse the rice under cold water and tip it into a large pan. Add 600ml boiling water and a pinch of salt. Cover, bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down. Cook for 6-8 mins till all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Take the pan off the heat and let it sit, lid on, for 5 mins to steam the rice.
5. While the rice cooks, halve the pomegranate. Hold 1 half in the palm of your hand, cut-side down, over a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to bash the pomegranate and the seeds should tumble through your fingers into the bowl. Repeat with the other half. Pull any reluctant seeds out of the white pith.
6. Finely grate or pare the zest from the lemon into a bowl. Squeeze in the juice. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stalks and add them to the bowl. Add ½ tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp cold water with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well and set to one side.
7. After 40-45 mins, the chicken should be cooked through and the squash soft. Check the chicken is cooked by piercing the largest chicken thigh. The juices should run clear. If not, cook a little longer.
8. Divide the chicken and squash between 4 warm plates. Serve with the rice, topped with the lemon and parsley dressing and pomegranate seeds.
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