Sunday, January 27, 2013

Moroccan Chicken

Few weeks ago while flipping through the pages of an old Saveur Magazine recipe for Moroccan Chicken caught my eye. It is surprising how beautiful this dish looks given that you don't need more than an hour to prepare it. Oh, and yes, it is delicious. Harissa is a nice mixture of spicies that packs some heat. Orange sauce and bitter dandelion greens work well with it.

I modified the original recipe to my preferences. I chose to serve it with couscous instead of a carrot puree and did not use all the harissa they recommended. Here is how I made it.


2 chicken breasts and 2 chicken leg quarters with skin
4 oranges
2 tangerines
2 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of harrisa (bought at Market Spice in Pike Place Market)
2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of dandelion greens
10 dry-cured black olives, chopped in half
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400F. I bought a whole chicken and then cut it up myself into needed pieces. The recipe asks for boneless chicken breasts with skin on. I decided to use both chicken breasts and leg quarters. I pounded chicken breasts on both sides but did not do anything to the legs. Following the recipe I salted and peppered chicken and drizzled it with olive oil.

2. I squeezed juice of 2 oranges and 2 tangerines. I cut orange segments from the other 2 oranges. In a small sauce pan over medium high heat I cooked orange-tangerine juice until it reduced by half. This took about 8 minutes. Next I whisked in butter into the orange juice, added orange segments, salt and pepper (to taste) and set the sauce aside.

3. I decided to cook my chicken on a grill. I grilled it first skin side down for about 8 minutes and then flipped it and grilled another 2 minutes. It did get very brown and crispy. And kitchen saw some smoke!

4. I transferred chicken skin side up onto a baking sheet (did not grease it) and brushed it with 4 tablespoons of harissa. I cooked chicken breasts for 13 minutes and leg quarters for another 8 minutes (21 minutes total).

5. While chicken was baking in the oven I made the salad. In a small bowl I mixed together 2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar, 2 teaspoons of harissa and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I added dressing to a bowl of dandelion greens, olives and shallots and tossed.

6. Once chicken is cooked it was time to serve it with a salad and some couscous. We ate legs the next day for lunch. This dish was very flavorful and easy to make.

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