Whole Spice-crusted and Grilled Moroccan Chicken With Grilled Lemons
Serves: 4 to 6
I am a great believer in creating your own spice blends and rubs. PCC makes this so easy by offering a wide variety of spices in bulk. You can mix and match with just the amount you need of each. Fresh spices are full of aromatic oils and will really change the personality of your dish!
- 1 whole free-range chicken (about 5 pounds) Add to list
- 1/2 stick cinnamon, crushed Add to list
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds Add to list
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds Add to list
- 3 whole cloves Add to list
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns Add to list
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (or 2 strips lemon peel, about 1/3-inch wide) Add to list
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste Add to list
- 2 lemons, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices Add to list
- Olive oil for brushing (about 1/4 cup) Add to list
- Whole green onions for garnish Add to list
Rinse and pat dry the chicken.
Place the spices, the lemon zest or peel and salt in a spice grinder or mortar and grind to a coarse blend. Sprinkle some of the spice blend on the lemon slices and set aside. Lightly brush the entire surface of the chicken with the oil then sprinkle the spice blend evenly over the surface. Rub it in to blend with the oil.
Prepare a generous bed of hot coals and make a clearing in the center. Place an old cake pan or several layers of foil formed into a bowl shape in the center. This will act as a drip pan to prevent flare-ups. If you are using a gas grill, light the flame on one side of the grill only. (You will place the chicken on the unlighted side. This is called indirect cooking and will keep the chicken from dripping fat directly into the flame.)
Place the chicken, breast side down, on the grill. Cover the grill. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes. (At this point you may need to add a few more charcoal briquettes to the fire.) Turn the chicken over, brush with a little olive oil, and cook another 35 to 45 minutes or until it is sizzling and golden and the interior temperature at the thickest part of the thigh is 165° F. Lay the lemon slices and green onions on the grill in the last few minutes of cooking, turning once, until seared.
Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with the lemons and green onions on the side.
You may purchase the spices already ground, but it is so much more aromatic to grind your own!
You also may roast this chicken in a preheated 375° F oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temp is as noted above.
Recipe by, PCC Chef