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Chermoula Chicken

 

What you need:

1 x free range chicken

1 x fresh lemon, sliced into rounds

For the Chermoula:

1 preserved lemon

½ cup roughly chopped parsley, plus extra for garnishing

¼ cup chopped coriander stems

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large red chilli, de seeded and chopped

2 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp hot smoked paprika

1 tsp sea salt

large pinch cracked black pepper

pinch of saffron threads

1 tbsp boiling water

50ml grape seed oil, or pure olive oil

What you do:

Cut the preserved lemon in quarters; use a sharp knife to cut away the pulp and white pith, discard. Slice the rind into a small dice. Place saffron in a small bowl with 1 tbsp boiling water, set aside to soak for 5 minutes.

Place all ingredients for Chermoula except saffron and oil into a mortar and pestle, pound and grind till mix resembles a paste (about 5 minutes) (there will still be some chunks of preserved lemon).  If using a food processor blitz till well mixed. Add saffron soaked water and oil, stir till combined.

Cut chicken down the back bone using a sharp pair of kitchen scissors and press firmly on the back to flatten the chicken, or ask your butcher to do this.  Lay the cut rounds of fresh lemon in a baking tray and place the chicken, skin side up, on top of the lemons.  Place your fingers under the skin of the chicken taking care not to rip the skin.  Create a pocket between the flesh and the skin by gently separating the skin from the flesh.  Do this on the leg pieces as well. Take half the marinade and rub it under the skin, smoother as much of the flesh with the marinade as you can. Take the remaining marinade and rub the out side of the chicken. Marinate overnight, or if you’re in a hurry for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to  180 C / 350 F /gas mark 4

Remove chicken from refrigerator half an hour before cooking.  Sprinkle chicken generously with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Roast chicken for 1 hour, baste with juices half way through. Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes before cutting chicken into pieces. Skim the fat off the juices left in the cooking pan and spoon the juices over chicken.

Serve with chopped fresh parsley.

 

 

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