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Moroccan-Spiced Roast Chicken

This Moroccan-spiced roast chicken is seasoned with paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and then cooked on a bed of sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and red onions.

A deep roasting pan filled with roast chicken and vegetables

A quartet of familiar spices lends the striking flavors of Morocco to this complete meal in one. Although it takes a bit longer than other recipes to cook, once you put it in the oven, your work is done.–Kristine Kidd

HOW DO I TRUSS A CHICKEN?

Trussing refers to the technique of tying your chicken snugly with kitchen twine so that the wings and legs stay close to the body. It helps your bird to brown more evenly, resulting in a flavorful, juicy roasted chicken with crispy skin.

Pat the chicken dry and then liberally season inside and out with the spices called for in the recipe. Once it’s all spiced up and ready to go, you can simply tie the legs together with kitchen string which is what is called for here. If you want to level up your trussing techniques, check this out.

Moroccan-Spiced Roast Chicken

A deep roasting pan filled with roast chicken and vegetables

This Moroccan-spiced roast chicken is seasoned with paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and then cooked on a bed of sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and red onions.

Kristine Kidd

Prep 35 mins

Cook 1 hr 10 mins

Total 1 hr 55 mins

Entrees

Moroccan

4 servings

505 kcal

4.25 / 4 votes

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Slick a heavy large rimmed baking sheet–preferably not a roasting pan, but if you do use a roasting pan, make it a big one–with a little oil.
  • Pull out and discard the fat and giblets from the cavity of the chicken. Pat the chicken very dry with paper towels. Starting at the edge of the main cavity, slide a finger under the skin over each breast half, making a pocket between the skin and meat. Rub a total of 1 tablespoon of salt over the chicken skin and toss a little salt inside the cavity. Sprinkle the chicken generously with black pepper.

  • In a small bowl, mix the paprika, cumin, pepper flakes, and cinnamon. Set aside 2 1/2 teaspoons of the spice mixture for the vegetables. The rest is for the chicken. Finely grate the zest from the lemon, cut the lemon into quarters, and mix the zest into the spices for the chicken. Gradually mix in 2 tablespoons of olive oil to make a paste. Spread a little of the paste inside the cavity, slather some of it under the skin over the chicken breasts, and rub the rest of the paste all over the outside of the chicken. Toss the lemon quarters inside the cavity. Tie the legs together, if desired. Place the chicken in the center of the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it and if it browns too quickly cover it loosely with a sheet of foil.

  • Tie the legs together, if desired. Place the chicken in the center of the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it and if it browns too quickly cover it loosely with a sheet of foil.

  • Meanwhile, cut the sweet potatoes in half crosswise, and then quarter each half lengthwise to create wedges. Combine the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and onion in a bowl. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and toss to coat. Add the reserved spice mixture, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

  • After the chicken has been roasted for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven. Tilt the sheet pan and spoon off most of the fat. Return the chicken to the center of the sheet and spoon the vegetables around it. Return the pan to the oven and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 165°F (74°C), about 40 minutes longer, depending on the size of the bird. (Note: the bird will take longer to roast if the legs have been tied together. It will also take longer if you ended up with a behemoth bird that’s closer to five pounds than four.) If the skin is getting too dark before the meat is done, reduce the oven temperature to 425°F (218°C).

  • Arrange the chicken on a platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve with the vegetables.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 505kcal (25%)Carbohydrates: 26g (9%)Protein: 25g (50%)Fat: 35g (54%)Saturated Fat: 7g (44%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 81mg (27%)Sodium: 155mg (7%)Potassium: 987mg (28%)Fiber: 8g (33%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 13069IU (261%)Vitamin C: 72mg (87%)Calcium: 92mg (9%)Iron: 4mg (22%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published October 18, 2011

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