Recipe: Moroccan Roast Chicken

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21 Feb Recipe: Moroccan Roast Chicken

Yesterday was Family Day here in Ontario when everyone gets the day off to hang out with their loved ones. With yet another forecast snow storm threatening to turn what should be a laid back provincial holiday into a muscle-abusing Shovel Day, I decided to have family time Sunday night instead. Being the ever-considerate charm that I am, I chose a dish that would please everyone. My father likes Moroccan food, my mother enjoys any meal she doesn’t have to cook, Andrew’s all about the meat and I wanted something I could shove in the oven while I dashed to the gym.

As luck would have it, a copy of Weeknight Fresh + Fast: Simple, Healthy Meals for Every Night of the Week by Kristine Kidd arrived just last week. I’ve never used a Williams-Sonoma cookbook before and wasn’t sure if we’d agree on the definition of “fresh + fast.” After all, when I go to one of their stores the kid in me wants three of everything and the adult in me wonders where I would store a bulky castle-shaped bundt cakes and even bulkier  $400 cake decorating machine. But the book delivers a wide range of practical recipes using items from any well-stocked grocery store. Sure, Kid Charmian whines about the tofu, but Adult Charmian points out that only 3 recipes in the entire book use this ingredient and if there are any more complaints there’ll be no Castle Cake for dessert.

Of course, in a book with 100 recipes providing quickly-made stir fries, pastas and grilled items, I chose the one with a long cooking time. And because my bird was 50% bigger than the one in the recipe, my cook time expanded equally, but that just meant I would sweat on the elliptical, not over dinner.

When Andrew and I returned from the workout, the house smelled intoxicating, dinner was ready, and I could host a Sunday night meal looking like I’d worked all day. And the results? For a while the sunny aroma of Morocco made me forget about the impending snowfall.

Spice-rubbed Moroccan Chicken minutes before it hit the oven and I hit the gym.

With more workouts on the horizon roast chickens will be on the menu more often. How do you roast your chicken? Apples and rosemary? Old-fashioned stuffing? Or do you have other go-to dishes for when you want an uninterrupted hour or so?

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  • Sally - My Custard Pie
    Posted at 11:04h, 22 February Reply

    Refering to an earlier (entertaining) post…in the instructions about tying the legs together did you insert the words ‘if desired’?!

    When I roast chicken I like a combination of butter, herbs, lemon zest and parma ham (blitzed together) stuffed under the skin over the breast. Divine.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:59h, 23 February Reply

      Actually, “if desired” was part of the printed recipe. But I did get a laugh when I read that.

      Love the herb butter idea. Haven’t done the ham, but I can imagine the lovely smokiness it adds. Thanks for sharing!

  • Terry
    Posted at 16:40h, 22 February Reply

    LOL – I wondered the same thing about the legs being tied. This may be a duh question,….the recipe suggests a large-rimmed baking sheet but it looks like a roasting pan to me in the picture. Can you clarify for me?

    I tend to go the way of garlic and rosemary as my go-to roast chicken but this looks lovely enough to try.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:04h, 23 February Reply

      I believe when they say “roasting pan” they mean the kind with a lid. Baking sheets have no lid. Since this chicken is roasted without a lid, my guess is the writer’s intent was to avoid confusion, not add to it. Also, you want the vegetables in a single layer, not stacked, so that might have been one of the reasons behind the instructions, too.

      I adore garlic and rosemary. I have fresh rosemary growing on my window sill right now…

  • NS Foster
    Posted at 21:21h, 22 February Reply

    Both Terry and Sally stole my suggestions for delicious roast chicken. My other fall back (hubby and I can always agree on roast chicken) is mild version of a cajun spice-style mix, over and under.

    Or! Pulled pork in the slowcooker. You may be pleased to know that I made pulled pork, your slow cooker refried beans and combined with cheese, avacados and tomatos, have enough burrito filling to last me two weeks. Though, I have to admit, when I made the refried beans, I went lazier than lazy and dumped a bunch of onion powder in with the other spices and was done with it. Flavor-wise, I don’t think I did myself any injustices. They were a little dry at the edges, though, and I think the moisture from an actual onion might’ve helped.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:07h, 23 February Reply

      Cajun spice would be great, too. I’ve never tried it on a whole chicken before, just pieces.

      And your burritos sound amazing. I love to hear you riffed on a theme. Onions do add moisture, but I’m sure the avocados, tomatoes and cheese more than made up for it. Thanks for taking the time to let me know how your slowcooker adventure turned out. Keep cooking!

  • Lyndsay ~ The Kitchen Witch
    Posted at 22:39h, 23 February Reply

    I love roast chicken and am always looking for new and exciting ways to prepare it. This looks absolutely wonderful. Thanks for sharing! Bookmarking.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:26h, 24 February Reply

      I was pretty thrilled to discover a new way, too. Thanks for bookmarking!

      Happy roasting!

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