I’ve been running to the various Halal markets buying Arabic spices: Sumac, and spices blends Ras el Hanout and Za’atar to make recipes from Ottolenghi’s “Simple” cookbook. Inspired by the recipe on the package of Ras el Hanout, I made this simple but tasty roast chicken. The skin is crisp and flavorful.
I’ve found that roasting a chicken breast side down yields a much juicier bird, especially the breast meat which benefits from the juices flowing down.
I surrounded it by giant shallots, since they go so well with roast chicken. I was in a hurry so I left the skins on and figured they’d come out moister that way.
- One chicken (We spend the big bucks to buy Rocky chicken which is organic and air chilled, since it does taste a lot better and I imagine the hens are happier)
- Olive oil (EVOO)
- Ras el Hanout
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground garlic salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 lemon, cut in half
- 4 large shallots
Preheat oven to 430′. Grease a large roasting pan with olive oil. Rinse chicken inside and out, and dry with paper towels, then set breast side up on the roasting pan. Sprinkle the spices, salt and pepper all over the top of the chicken, including legs and wings, and in the cavity. Pour oil into a ramekin or teacup and use a basting brush to paint the oil over the chicken. Dip the brush into any spices that fell on the pan. Separate the skin from the breast with your fingers, and paint the spice-infused oil in that space. Place the lemon pieces inside the cavity.
Flip the chicken over so that it is breast side down. Repeat the spices and oil on the back side, including legs and wings. Place shallots around the chicken.
Roast for 1 1/2 hours at 430′
Nice served with couscous.