I’ve never been but I think I would love to visit Morocco one day. Not just because of the cool hats but the spices and flavors and olives…
The flavors in Moroccan cooking are so different than what our western taste buds are accustom. One client loves cinnamon and another likes to incorporate cinnamon into their diet for it’s blood sugar regulating properties. Cinnamon is used widely in Moroccan foods so thus began my journey into the land of mysterious spices.
One of my most favorite dishes is the Roasted Organic Chicken with Moroccan Spices found in the January 2005 issue of Bon Appetit. Wow this is a good one! (Though those observant readers out there will note there is no cinnamon in this dish…so I digressed ;)! !
Looking at the recipe you will see a spice called “ras-el-hanout” This is not a spice but a blend of many spices and it seems that every Moroccan family has their own secret blend. Some recipes call for over 30 different spices. Some ingredients are even purported to be aphrodisiacs and some of which I’m sure to not want to know about at all. Never fear, you can buy this spice – I got it online from Amazon.com. Do a google search and many vendors will pop up.
In any case, I would not leave out this spice if you want to try this recipe. And I do encourage you to try it – the flavor is so full and rich. This is a definite winner and will be found on many of my clients menus in the coming weeks.
For convenience, try it with parts too instead of the whole chicken. I’m partial to dark meat so I just use legs and thighs. Great side dishes are whole wheat couscous or I had it tonight with brown rice and a sauce I made based on this recipe also found on Epicurious.com.
For the sauce, I left out the chicken, added some cinnamon, ground coriander, paprika and ground cumin along with a cup of stewed tomatoes then finished the sauce with a touch of honey. Yea, I did say it was roughly based!
And for you olive lovers out there – Berkeley Bowl has Kalamata stuffed Green Olives!
That’s it for today. Bon Appetito