Roast chicken. Those two words bring such a lovely smile of happy, contentment to the faces of many people. It's so comforting. It's so good. It's wonderful when it's left simple and yet with a little chopping and blending, you can fancy it up. I know that some people think a whole roasted chicken is easy enough for a weeknight dinner. Not me. It's probably because mine has usually been frozen, and it seems like the inside never really thaws. So, I'm usually sticking frosty red hands deep inside the cavity, trying vainly to chip away the heart or kidneys, which are invariably frozen to the ribs. Then when I finally get everything out, it never seems to cook evenly, because, of course, the inside is still so cold. The answer for me is cut up roasted chicken.
One of my very favorite cookbooks, is Mediterranean: food of the sun. It's absolutely beautiful to look at and practically every single recipe sounds delicious! When I saw this simple marinated chicken, I knew I had to try it. You can do it with a whole chicken or chicken parts.
Moroccan Roast Chicken
Slightly modified from Mediterranean: Food of the Sun
3-4 lb chicken, cut up
2 small shallots
1 clove garlic
1 sprig fresh parsley
1 sprig cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 lemon, quartered
Finely chop shallots, garlic, herbs, salt and spices in a food processor. Add butter and process until it forms a smooth paste.
Rub the paste onto the chicken and let marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400. Place the chicken in a roasting pan, squeeze a little of the lemon juice over the chicken, and scatter it around the pan. Roast for about 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve with fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish if you wish!