Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Chicken Chermoula

This recipe! This recipe! It makes me HAPPY.

For one thing, I learned it about, oh, say, 10 years ago from a supremely cool woman.

This being me we are talking about, of course, I don't remember her name, (sentimental, aren't I!)but she gave me this recipe and for that I she will always hold a place in my heart.

And then, this past whirlwind-weekend, I was able to share it with two more supremely cool women.

Keep the goodness flowing...

But why get all hyped about sharing a chicken recipe, of all things?

Simple as this.

Over drinks, a few weeks ago, one of the aforementioned cool women declared - unprompted, and with absolutely no hesitation...

"I like chicken. (Pause.) That's right, I said it."

How would you have responded? (I mean, other than having to hold your sides due to extreme laughter)

The gauntlet was thrown down indeed. So I told her I had the recipe for her.

And this was it. I mean, for a woman willing to make such a definitive statement, I had no choice but to bring out the big guns. The real deal chicken-perfection-recipe.

Bold, sassy, unique. (Like my girls!) If you like really intense flavor and have a bit of prep time, (this MUST marinate at least four hours, really, it just needs it.) I say, get your chicken on!

A curious combination of extreme flavors; lemon, cumin, paprika and saffron, it is a mouth full of wow indeed.

And on Sunday afternoon, we all got together and made it, and loved it and ate it and wished we had made more...

So now my peaches, it is your turn to try it, and enjoy!

4 chicken legs, and four thighs
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, chopped fine
4 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbs sweet paprika
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 Tbsp cilantro, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
Large pinch red pepper flakes
¼ tsp ground ginger
2 pinches of saffron threads
4 Tbsp olive oil
Chicken stock as needed
Couscous to serve

Combine the chicken, garlic, onion, lime juice, paprika, cumin, cilantro, salt, pepper, pepper flakes, ginger, saffron and olive oil. Let marinate up to two hours at room temp or two days in the fridge, turning from time to time.

Preheat your oven to 450F or turn your grill on (do that. Really, this is SO good grilled. If you do, just simmer the remaining on the sauce in a pan on the stove top.)

Place the chicken and its marinade in a roasting pan and add enough chicken broth to come ½ inch up the sides of the pan.

Roast for 20-40 minutes (depending on cuts used) or until the chicken is browned on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Skim off the fat from the roasting juices, and serve with the juices poured over.


Chermoula is a North African spice mix of lemon, cumin, garlic, coriander and saffron

In 1444 any merchant caught selling adulterated saffron in Bavaria was burned alive (um. ouch!)

Iconic restaurant Chez Panisse served its first meal on Aug. 28, 1971. They had their first profitable year (a whopping 2%) in 1984,
with sales of $2.7 million. (Sales jumped, in 2000, to almost $7 million.) - LA Times

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That sounds really good.
With an endorsement like that, I'll have to give it a try!
Sounds wonderful! What great flavors...paprika, cumin, cilantro...yum!
All these big flavors really do sound like they would play nicely together. I will definitely have to try this.

And somebody needs to tell those Bavarians to lighten up.
I'm totally making this. Chicken is always popular.
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