I never think of March as a big holiday month, especially after recovering from the winter holiday extravaganza. But as I was menu planning, I realized that March has St. Patrick’s Day, Passover, and Easter all in a row! Three weeks of holiday recipes! So every week here in Florida we celebrate a new holiday to start testing recipes. A few weeks ago I made this chicken recipe as a tester for Passover, and it ended up being a huge success! Three, non-Passover celebrating baseball players, devoured up this Moroccan chicken. The flavors are savory and slightly unusual. Warm spices like paprika and cumin, mixed together with sweet cinnamon and fresh mint; it’s a surprise on your palate but something that everyone will enjoy. The vegetables that go along side it are more of the traditional sort, but you can always substitute for any vegetables of your choice. My cauliflower selection wasn’t looking good when I cooked for this picture, so I used turnips instead. Just be sure to chop any vegetable in equal sizes so that they cook evenly.
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Total Time: 2 hours
3 tbs olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tbs sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs fresh mint, minced
salt and pepper
1- 5lb chicken
6 whole garlic cloves
2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 head cauliflower, florets only
1 vadallia onion, cut into 8 wedges
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse the chicken and remove the giblets etc… from inside the cavity. Pat the exterior skin with a paper towel. Use your fingers to gently remove the skin from the flesh. Season the chicken with a good coat of salt and lots of black pepper. Place the chicken in the middle of a roasting pan.
- To make the spice blend, combine all of the listed ingredients (minus salt and pepper) in a small blender. Pulse until blended. Set 1 tbs of the spice blend aside for the vegetables. Use 1/4 of the spice blend to rub inside the cavity, another 1/4 of the blend for under the skin, and the remaining 1/2 for the outside skin of the chicken. Make sure to evenly coat as best as you can. Tie the legs together with butcher’s string. Prick the 2 whole lemons and 6 garlic cloves with a fork and put them in the cavity. Bake the chicken for 45 minutes.
- While the chicken is roasting, chop the vegetables and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and the tablespoon of spice blend. Season with a salt and pepper. When the chicken has finished cooking for the first 45 minutes, remove it from the oven and spoon away excess fat. Add the vegetables around the chicken and return it to the oven for another 45 minutes, or until an internal thermometer reads 165 degrees. If it starts to brown too quickly, you can tent it with foil to allow it to cook evenly. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the vegetables.
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