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Moroccan Chicken Rfissa

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Adjust Servings:
2 lbs (1 kg) chicken cut into pieces
2 onion finely chopped
4 cloves Garlic minced
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt adjust to taste
1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
fresh parsley fresh parsley chopped
1 preserved lemon rinsed and chopped
1 cup lentils soaked overnight and drained
8 cups water
1 package (about 500g) msemen or warqa dough substitute with phyllo dough if unavailable
1/2 cup Butter melted
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling

Nutritional information


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Moroccan Chicken Rfissa


Moroccan Rfissa is traditionally served by tearing off a piece of the crispy dough, spooning some of the chicken and lentil mixture on top, and enjoying the flavors and textures together.

  • 1 hour 30 min
  • Serves 4
  • Hard




Moroccan Chicken Rfissa: A Hearty Delicacy with Rich History and Time-Honored Traditions

Moroccan Chicken Rfissa is a mouthwatering dish that combines tender chicken, flavorful spices, lentils, and layers of buttery dough. This traditional Moroccan recipe holds a special place in Moroccan cuisine, reflecting the country’s diverse culinary heritage. With its rich history and time-honored traditions, Moroccan Chicken Rfissa has become a staple dish enjoyed on special occasions and family gatherings throughout Morocco.

Origin and History:

Moroccan cuisine is a delightful fusion of Berber, Arab, and Mediterranean influences, resulting in a vibrant and aromatic culinary tradition. Moroccan Chicken Rfissa, also known as Rfissa or Trid, has its roots in the ancient Berber culture, tracing back centuries.

The dish has evolved over time, adapting to different regions and incorporating various ingredients. Rfissa traditionally uses poultry, such as chicken, as its main protein source. The recipe also includes lentils, which provide a nutritious and hearty element to the dish.

Traditions and Occasions:

Moroccan Chicken Rfissa is deeply tied to Moroccan cultural traditions and is often reserved for significant celebrations and family gatherings. It is commonly prepared to celebrate the birth of a child, a marriage, or during religious festivals, such as Eid al-Adha and Ramadan.

The preparation of Rfissa is a communal affair, with family members and friends coming together to assist in the cooking process. This sense of togetherness and shared effort adds to the special significance of the dish.

Cooking Techniques and Ingredients:

To prepare Moroccan Chicken Rfissa, a combination of aromatic spices is used, including ground ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper. These spices infuse the chicken and lentils with an enticing flavor profile, creating a harmonious blend of savory and fragrant notes.

The dish also incorporates fresh herbs such as cilantro and parsley, which add brightness and freshness to the overall taste. Preserved lemons, a staple in Moroccan cuisine, may be included for a tangy twist.

A key component of Moroccan Chicken Rfissa is the dough. Traditionally, Moroccan cooks use msemen or warqa dough, which is a thin, layered pastry. This dough is made by kneading flour, water, and a pinch of salt, resulting in a soft and pliable texture. The layers of buttered dough are baked until golden and crispy, adding a delightful crunch to the dish.

Serving and Enjoying Rfissa:

Moroccan Chicken Rfissa is typically served family-style, with a large communal dish placed in the center of the table. Each person tears off a piece of the buttery dough and spoons a portion of the chicken and lentils on top. The combination of the tender chicken, flavorful lentils, and crispy dough creates a satisfying and comforting eating experience.

The dish is not only a culinary delight but also a symbol of hospitality and generosity. It represents the warmth and unity of Moroccan culture, where food plays a central role in bringing people together.

Moroccan Chicken Rfissa is more than just a recipe; it is a cultural treasure that embodies the rich history and traditions of Morocco. Passed down through generations, this hearty dish has evolved into a cherished culinary symbol of celebration and togetherness.

With its aromatic spices, tender chicken, and layers of crispy dough, Moroccan Chicken Rfissa offers a delightful sensory experience. By savoring this traditional dish, one can embrace the essence of Moroccan hospitality and experience the vibrant flavors of Moroccan cuisine.



In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent.


Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until browned on all sides. This will take about 8-10 minutes.


Once the chicken is browned, add the ground ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, and salt. Stir well to coat the chicken evenly with the spices.


Add the chopped cilantro, parsley, and preserved lemon (if using) to the pot. Stir to combine the ingredients.


Add the soaked and drained lentils to the pot, followed by the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for about 1 hour or until the chicken and lentils are tender.


While the chicken and lentils are simmering, prepare the msemen or warqa dough. If using store-bought phyllo dough, follow the package instructions for thawing.


Tear the dough into large pieces, roughly 6-8 inches square. Brush each piece with melted butter.


Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).


In a deep oven-safe dish, place a layer of the buttered dough pieces. Spoon some of the chicken and lentil mixture over the dough, spreading it out evenly. Continue layering the dough and chicken mixture, finishing with a layer of dough on top.


Drizzle any remaining melted butter over the top layer of dough, and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.


Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and crispy.


Once cooked, remove the dish from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

The Moroccan Chef

The owner of themoroccanfood.com is a passionate individual with a deep love for Moroccan cuisine. Hailing from Morocco, this dedicated individual created the website as a platform to share the vibrant flavors and diverse dishes of Moroccan culinary heritage with a global audience.

Recipe Reviews

Average Rating:
Total Reviews: 1
Chief harry

Morocco , casablanca , I ordered the Rfissa and was in love with it

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