Roasting chicken pieces in the oven is one of easiest and most delicious meals you can make. While you can simply toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 30 minutes, marinating the pieces overnight elevates an easy weekday meal into something special. There are many different marinades you can use, but we love the bold flavours of Moroccan spices, especially ras el hanout, a top notch North African spice mix that literally means ‘head of the shop’. Roast in a pan with garlic, big chunks of onion, courgette, parsley and olives for a juicy dish that pairs perfectly with couscous.
Pro tip: Butchering a whole chicken isn’t as difficult as one might think! Plus, it’s more economical than buying separate pieces, and, the bones make for a delicious stock. What’s better than creating more meals from one product?? The best tutorial I’ve seen on chicken butchery is by the estimable Mark Bittman at The New York Times. Check it out on youtube: Chicken Butchery.
Moroccan Roast Chicken
(Serves 4, or 2 with leftovers)
1 whole medium chicken, butchered into 6 pieces (breasts, legs and wings)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lemon, cut into quarters
1 large courgette and white onion, chopped into chunks
4 sprigs each coriander and parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tbl each cumin, ras el hanout, paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt, pepper and olive oil
1. Butcher chicken. Marinate chicken in the spices for at least 2 hours (better yet, overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 205 C. Arrange chicken pieces in a pan or roasting dish, skin side up. Tuck the garlic cloves, lemon pieces, olives, chunks of onion and courgette in between the pieces. Drape herbs across.
3. Bake for approx. 25-35 min or until done (thermometer reads 75 C at thickest part).
4. For extra crispy skin, put under the broiler for a few minutes while the couscous is finishing up.