Wednesday, February 4, 2009

{moroccan-style roast chicken with vegetables}

{image via foodnetwork}
Tonight we had one our favorite dinners. I have been on a Moroccan kick for the past few months, and this fits the bill just right. I have never been able to get my hands on a Cornish hen as the original recipe calls for, but I have used a whole chicken, thighs, and even chicken breasts. I would really recommend using a part with the skin on it to keep it extra moist- especially if you decide to use a chicken breast. It makes all the difference, even if you peel the skin off after cooking it like me! If it is just Drew and I eating, we cut back on the chicken, and use whatever roasting vegetables we do have on hand (like a half butternut squash and a zucchini or whatever). Try it- you won't be disappointed! (unless you don't love spicy deliciousness ;)

Moroccan-Style Roast Chicken (adapted closely from this recipe)

1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
4 garlic cloves

1/4 cup mild honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons paprika

4 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 large zucchini (1 1/4 pounds total), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 medium turnips (1/2 pound total), peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces

2 red bell peppers, quartered and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

2 medium onions, cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick wedges

2 8-oz can of unsalted tomato sauce or 1 can of whole/diced tomatoes

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 whole chicken, or breasts and thighs with the skin on

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Mince garlic, then mash to a paste with salt mixture using flat side of a chef's knife (feel free to forgo the paste if you are feeling lazy like I often do). Transfer paste to a large bowl and whisk in honey, lemon juice, oil, spices, and pepper.

Put zucchini, turnips, bell peppers, butternut squash, and onions in a large roasting pan, then add half of spice mixture and toss until well coated. Stir tomatoes/sauce and broth into vegetables. Add hens to large bowl with remaining spice mixture and toss to coat, then arrange hens, breast or skin side up, over vegetables in pan.

Cover pan tightly with foil and roast in middle of oven 30 minutes. Uncover and roast until hens are browned and vegetables are tender, 30 minutes more. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Sprinkle herbs on top and spoon some cooking liquid over hens.

Serve with fluffy garlic rice or couscous.

2 love notes:

Mrs. JM said...

oh, some recipes have so many ingredients and i'm broke. :0(

last night i attempted my own version of lettuce wraps with ground turkey and i must say they were delish! there were so many version of the "sauce" each with tons of ingredients so i just bought a thai peanut dipping sauce and it was perfect. call me lazy. or poor. lol

so ... i wonder how hard it would be to convince your husband to make me a cute and simple blog header? could he? would he? does he ever say "man, i wish i had something to do to kill time"?

sarah calder said...

ya, if we didn't have all those spices left over from the wedding food combined with all the spices that Vanessa had, I definitely wouldn't be able to make stuff like this all the time. fortunately, the vegetables and chicken are really cheap so it keeps me saving and being thrifty. hopefully those are never ending spices jars...

the peanut sauce sounds amazing. i don't always make all my own sauces...especially when i find one at the store that absolutely perfect!