Karimah’s Roasted Moroccan Lemon Chicken
When I first became a Muslim, my local masjid was in a Moroccan area so all my new sisters were Moroccan. Moroccans are very hospitable people and so they invited me to their houses to eat and find out where I had come from, be careful don’t give all your secrets away new muslims.Moroccan food is lovely; it’s pleasant, subtle and tasty. I think Moroccan men should thank Allah that most of their wives above a certain age group can cook; the rest can read this book inshallah and learn like I did. This chicken dish is sometimes served at weddings as one of the courses but would be great as a weekend roast, my mouth is watering just thinking about
This is a roast chicken dish and getting any two good cooks to agree on how to actually roast the chicken is another story. Should you use high-temperature, fast roasting? Or should you take it low and slow? Tie it up which is called trussing or leave it loose and open and let the hot air get inside? Baste? Yes? No?
There are pros and cons in the various methods but this method produces a moist delicious bird
Seasoning the bird to make it even more flavourful and transforming the flavourful pan juices into a simple but delicious sauce takes roasting one step further and doesn’t waste a drop alhamdulilair
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1hour 45 minutes
1 whole medium chicken1.5-3 kilos/ 3 ½-7lbs roaster chicken
For the Marinade
3 Medium garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
a pinch/1/8 teaspoon Saffron
5ml/1 teaspoon ground ginger
5ml/1 teaspoon ground cumin
5ml/1 teaspoon turmeric haldi
5 ml/1 tea spoon black pepper
5ml/1 tea spoon Salt
½ bunch chopped parsley
½ bunch chopped coriander/cilantro
Finely Grated peel of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
15ml/ 1 table spoon Olive oil
75ml/3 oz/1/2 cup Green olives, the Moroccan ones in chilli salt are my favourites
2-3 preserved lemons (can be bought from Moroccan shops or kosher shops or make your own)
1 lemon and salt to clean chicken
1.leave chicken to soak in water with a the juice of one lemon and table spoon of salt, take out after 15minutes -1hour and rinse and drain in colander or sieve
2. Place in food processor saffron, ginger, black pepper, cumin, salt and lemon peel. (Grated with fine side of cheese grater), lemon juice, olive oil, roughly chopped coriander and parsley.
3. Use blade fitting in processor to cut mixture fine so that end result looks like coarse puree or pound in mortar and pestle.
4. Rub mixture over inside and out of clean dry chicken
5. Ideally leave to marinate for a few hours covered with cling film in fridge or even over night.
6. Place is baking dish that is not tight and the chicken needs space for the hot air to move around. Cover with tin foil and place in pre-heated over gas mark 7, 425 Fahrenheit and 220 C for 30 minutes.
7. take out of oven and add olives, slice preserved lemons and place on skin, and if the chicken has made any juice carefully spoon over the chicken, if not you may want to add a little more vegetable oil on the chicken and put back in oven for another hour, still covered with foil, then take the chicken in the baking fish out of the oven.
8. pour using a spoon any juices over the chicken, this will displace any marinade, this is ok, then Take out the chicken out of the baking dish and into another roasting tin, you are going to put this back into the oven to brown the skin put back in the oven uncovered for another 20-30 minutes for the skin to crisp
To the remaining chickened juices, lemon and olives in the old baking tin add 3 teaspoons of corn flour or plain flour to begin making a gravy, us reverts love gravy, mix into eh chicken oils, add 2 cups of water of vegetable stock to the chicken juices in the dish, and gently heat on the hobb oven top on a very low heat while chicken is browning in oven,
9. Take the chicken out of the oven and serve in large bowl or plate, pour some of the gravy over the chicken. Traditionally Moroccan chicken is eaten with bread but some of us don’t like white bread because it’s not really that nutritious for a change it’s really nice with Caribbean rice and peas but that another recipe! Some salads would be great like salsa chebolla or Moroccan orange and carrot salad…Thank Allah and enjoy!