Friday, 27 November 2015

Moroccan Chicken


This is also known as Chermoula Chicken.  Chermoula is a spice paste made with among others, turmeric and fresh coriander leaves.

I found this recipe in Chef Wan's cookbook, Simply Sedap and tried it two years ago. That initial attempt was a disappointment to me because I did not find the spice paste to be anything exciting. If you ask me about the taste, I really cannot put my finger to it. 

Then I put this business of roasting with chermoula paste behind me. A year later, I decided to give it another go. Why? I wanted to revisit because who knows, I could have gotten my proportions of the ingredients wrong or my judgement was clouded by some other issues, whatever they may be.





Again, I was not happy with the outcome. Maybe it was just me. Chermoula does not suit my tastebuds. Or another possibility is that there was an error in the recipe. Believe me, that has happened before. With due respect to Chef Wan, who is my favorite Malaysian chef, I tried one recipe in the same book with disastrous results.



It was a Beef Kuzi recipe which I cooked for a Chinese New Year dinner many years ago. I had to throw away the whole pot. I followed the recipe to a tee and yet the flavors came out all wrong.

Subsequent to that experience, I discovered some mini cookbooks which were extracts from Chef Wan's Simply Sedap. The book on meat dishes had all of the meat recipes from Simply Sedap except for that one particular recipe. Ah! I felt so vindicated. So it was not me, it was the recipe.

Now coming back to this Moroccan Chicken, this is my third attempt. Why? Because I saw a similar dish featured in Time Out Kuala Lumpur. 

Photo credit : Time Out Kuala Lumpur (The photo looked better in the magazine)
This was the Chermoula Chicken served at Fuego, and the way it was described sure sounded so delicious. So I just had to have another go, knowing jolly well that the recipe at Fuego could be different. Besides the cooking method is different too where the chicken is cooked via sous vide and then grilled.



I'm happy to say that this time I appreciated the chicken and the spice paste. In fact, it tasted a lot better the following day. So yes, this chermoula spice paste is to my liking and I see great potential in tweaking the recipe to suit me better.












Moroccan Chicken
Recipe sauce : Adapted from Simply Sedap (page 90)

Ingredients :
- 1 chicken, halved
- salt to taste

Chermoula Spice (finely ground)
- 3 red chillies
- 1 tablespoon powdered chili
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tsp powdered turmeric
- 1 tsp powdered cumin
- 1 big onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- a generous handful coriander leaves
- 60ml olive oil
- juice from 1/2 lemon

Method :
1. Rub the chicken with salt and chermoula spice and marinate overnight in the fridge.
2. Before roasting, bring the chicken out from the fridge to come to room temperature.
3. Roast the chicken at 180C for (breast side down) 45-50 minutes turning at half time.




This post is also linked to Cook-Your-Books #28 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

34 comments:

  1. PH, ever consider setting up a food business?

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  2. The Moroccan chicken looks so so good.. I don't mind no gravy, I can still eat 2 plates of rice with this! I don't have most of the spices in your ingredients list, so not gonna make this.. I'm still sticking faithfully to my "rojak" roast chicken, hehe.. Ok, no more tomato sauce, coz finished.. But I still have my oyster sauce, wakakakakaa..

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    Replies
    1. Between this and your rojak chicken, I prefer your rojak chicken hee..hee..

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  3. I had this for brunch yesterday, one African guy married to a local here - he has this at his stall, very nice. Loved his rice that came with it too, very fragrant with all the herbs and spices used.

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    1. I want to try chermoula chicken from the restaurant so that I can set a benchmark of whether mine was OK or not LOL!

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  4. Your Moroccan chicken looks so delicious. Can please courier one whole chicken over to me? Lol!!!

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  5. I guess if you're into robust flavours of Indian food, chermoula will be well suited for you. It has some of the spices you'd find in Indian cuisine...cumin, cloves, chilli pepper, paprika, black pepper, cinnamon, dried parsley, etc. I can't say I'm a fan as too much of it can be a bit overpowering.

    You've got mad chopping skills....your chicken leg comes out nicely cut. I've never dared cook a whole or half a chicken as I'm not good at chopping chicken....I will butcher it to death! ;D

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    1. Oh no, my "chopping skills" is only confined to slicing off the chicken leg (which is easy). Other than that, everything will come off in a mess LOL!

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  6. You sure are very tenacious!

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  7. Hi Phong Hong, this chicken looks good and you have decorated the roast chicken so well. I must try this flavour, too. For me, I always have to rush to put everything on the plates fast, take photos and to serve it hot cos' my hubby wants to eat right away. I don't like him to mess out my kitchen. My photos on roast chicken are never satisfactory to me.

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    Replies
    1. Kimmy, putting together a nice shot takes a lot of time. Can be frustrating too especially when I have lots of things to do. I think your shots are fine, natural look for homecooked food. As long as it is delicious, that's what's important.

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  8. Clap! Clap! Your Moroccan chicken really looks sooo good and delicious that I could imagine its taste with squeezed lemon. Who will make this for me?

    Chef Wan is simply good and simply sedap too! I met him many times on the streets but no greetings. I am good friends with Agnes Chang. Time to catch up with this aunty and ask her to appear in my blog(?)

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  9. Actually I don't really trust Chef One when it comes to recipes. He is a nice person, in fact I've seen him a few times when he visits my dad's shop to buy bags when I was a kid. But.. his recipes.. sometimes I wonder if it is some other clueless people who wrote the recipes and he just endorsed it or what.

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    1. I've experienced the disappointing reality of cookbooks when the dishes don't turn out or the ingredients don't make sense. Perhaps due to poor editing or as you said, it was not kitchen tested.

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  10. nice dinner! And nicely served with herbs. so you did not give up:)

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad I tried it a few times and realised that it was actually good.

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  11. I actually think chicken cooked this way should be nice, I mean you got it roasted with some nice "jup" (aka gravy) and it won't go too bad right?? hmmm, maybe Chef Wan's version just isn't your taste?? anyway, good that you so tenacious (quote lina) about this Morrocan chicken, I remember my friend cooked this for me before, with extra potatoes, and I loved it so much.. so you finally found the right recipe and you are going to experiment it with other meat, bravo, hope you would love it even more!! :)

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    Replies
    1. I want to tweak the recipe a little bit and make it more to my taste. Macam science lab experiment :D

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  12. Did you do anything different the 3rd time you cook this that you like the taste this time but did not for the first two times?

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    Replies
    1. I just basically adjusted the amount of ingredients here and there. I need to fine tune a bit more.

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  13. Wow, this chicken looks amazing!! I need to make one of your chicken recipes sometime soon!

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  14. Hi Phong Hong, I'm adding this recipe on my cooking list. Looks really delicious :D
    Thanks for sharing.

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  15. I usually ditch the skin, but with this I think if ditch the skin very waste, must wallop the skin also right? Hehe!

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    Replies
    1. Aiyo, I love the skin lah, don't throw hee..hee...

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  16. Hi Phong Hong,
    Delicious looking chicken! I have never tried Chef Wan's recipes before. Thanks for linking with CYB!

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