Monday, May 09, 2005

The Return of the Sunday Chicken Club, Moroccan-style, Pt. II: Djej Mechoui

This is another fantastic chicken recipe from Paula Wolfert’s Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco. It’s very simple, but the flavors are outrageous—the smells coming off the grill alone will be enough to put your neighbors to shame. If you really want to up the ante, throw a teaspoon of Ras el Hanout into the marinade/paste. The aromas'll get up and talk to you, as they say south of the Mason-Dixon line.

We served the chicken with saffron basmati rice, a spicy Eritrean lentil dish (for that pan-African feel), and a salad. I can’t wait to make this dish again.

Here goes:

3 scallions, white parts only, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tbsp roughly chopped mixed herbs (coriander and parsley)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 tsp ground freshly roasted cumin
1 tsp Ras el Hanout (optional)
1/4 cup softened sweet butter
2 lb (+) chicken, quartered or in pieces

Pound the scallions in a large mortar with the garlic, herbs, salt, and spices. Blend with the butter to make a paste. Rub the paste over the chicken pieces. Let stand for at least 1 hour.

Heat your BBQ.

Arrange the pieces of chicken skin side up over the coals. After 5 minutes turn and baste with any extra paste or the juices in the roasting pan. Continue turning and basting every 5 minutes until the chickens are done—depending on the heat of the BBQ.

Serve immediately.


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