Welcome to the Kingdom of Morocco, country of Imazighens! The history of Moroccan cuisine, which is of Imazighens (Swassa, Ryafa and Zayanes), Jews, Andaloussi and Sahrawi origins, stretches back for several centuries and was able to adapt itself to changes and different modern ingredients from period to period. Moroccan cuisine is rated among one of the most cleverly balanced cuisines, with strong focus on rich flavours, aromas, texture, presentation, and perfect choice of spices and fresh ingredients, thus leading Moroccans to pride themselves on eating tasty, delicious and traditional food on a daily basis. Several Moroccan dishes have become increasingly popular now in other parts of the world (North of America, Australia and Western Europe) and it is no surprise that some neighbouring African countries have adopted the Moroccan Style Flavour. Welcome to my Blog!

1 Jun 2011

الدجاج بالليمون وْ العْسْلْ/Honey and Orange Roasted Chicken Moroccan Style / Poulet Rôti à l'Orange et au Miel à la Marocaine

Serves 5 to 6 people /  Pour 5 à 6 personnes
Preparation Time: 0 h 30 minutes / Temps de préparation: 0 h 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 h 45 minutes / Temps de cuisson: 1 h 45 minutes
For brining: 2 hours or more / La saumure : 2 heures ou plus
الدجاج بالليمون وْ العْسْلْ

This is one of my most favourite mother comfort foods : honey and orange roasted chicken, absolutely delicious!  I remember we always had honey orange chicken when I was a kid, especially on Sundays Family Get-Together, and it is still one of my all time favourites!

I'm just hoping the accompanying photo of this juicy roasted chicken with sweet flavour will speak for itself!  It is succulent, tender and truly bursting with flavour.  If you have never tasted before a sweet-savoury chicken, it’s very hard to describe just how wonderful this is. I hope my picture and recipe do it justice. This recipe calls for brining the chicken, and then roasting it. So simple!

Generally, roasting a chicken is easy to make, however, cooking a tender, juicy, and flavourful chicken can sometimes be a challenge and can even seem so intimidating! However, this recipe is so easy to make, all that is necessary to cook this roast is to mix some few ingredients and a whole free-range-fresh chicken.  First brine it, wash it, then put it in the oven. That's it! 

Now I have to talk about one of the most controversial subjects in our kitchen:  Do you wash your meat or not? There has been much written on this little detail.  I have received several e-mails asking me why do I have to wash my meat?  Sorry if I don't have enough time to answer every e-mail.  I personally always rinse my meat, fish, seafood, chicken and the reason why I do that is that my mother did it, so I do it, too. Most of my friends do not rinse their meat and told me it's not good to rinse it! Having been around some butcher blocks, this just confirms to me that I have to continue rinsing my meat that I would eat and serve to my family.  I do not trust the basic hygiene sense at the block butchers, and other things that  touches it.  When I buy my meat I cannot ask if the butcher block table has been maintained properly according to high standard of hygiene and cleanliness to prevent the growth of bacteria. Having said that, I will continue rinsing my meat, and the world continues to turn and my roof has not been struck by lightning or any unpredictable phenomenon!
K. El Mary, Mamatkamal


-1 whole free-range, fresh chicken that weighs 1.5 kg / 1 poulet entier, fermier et frais, d'1.5 kg

-Half 1 fresh mandarin orange (unpeeled) / Couper en deux 1 mandarine, non-épulchée

-Half 1 fresh lemon (unpeeled)  / Couper en deux 1 citron frais, non-épulché

-1 cinnamon stick / 1 bâton de cannelle

-1/2 onion / 1/2 oignon

-3 tablespoons of honey (Use orange blossom honey but it is not essential) / 3 c à soupe de miel (Si c'est possible, utilisez du miel de fleurs d'oranger)

-1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper / 1/4 c à thé ou à café de poivre blanch moulu

-Salt to taste / Un peu de sel selon le goût

-Some freshly ground mixed peppercorn / Un peu de graines de poivre, rouge, blanc et noir fraîchement moulues

-1/2 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated / 1/2 c à thé ou à café de gingembre frais râpé

-2 bay leaves (warkat or war9at sidna moussa) / 2 feuilles du laurier (warkat ou war9at sidna moussa)

-About 3 tablespoons of Oudi or Sman or salted butter / Environ 3 c à soupe d'Oudi ou Sman ou du beurre salé.
Recette d'Oudi ou Sman ou Smen Lbaldi de la région de Souss du Maroc

-1/4 teaspoon Rass El Hanout / 1/4 c à thé ou à café de Rass El Hanout

Method / Préparation:

1-If there are any hairy feathers left on the chicken, remove them. / Bien nettoyer le poulet de plumes s'il y a lieu.

2-Remove the giblets from the chicken. Reserve them for other recipes. / Retirer les abats du poulet (les réserver pour autres recettes).

3-To make the brine: Mix 6 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 freshly squeezed lemon, 4 tablespoons white vinegar, about 500 ml of cold water and some fresh mint leaves in a big freezer bag.  Place the chicken inside and brine the bird for 2 hours or more in the fridge. / Préparer la saumure : Dans un grand sac alimentaire, mélanger 6 c à soupe de sel kosher, jus de 2 citrons frais, 4 c à soupe de vinaigre blanc, environ 500 ml d'eau froide et quelques feuilles de menthe fraîche. Laisser tremper le poulet dans ce liquide salé pendant 2 heures ou plus, et ranger-le au réfrigérateur.

4-Take the bird out of the brine, clean it inside and out, with cold water. Be sure to pat it dry with paper towels to ensure a nice brown and crispy skin. / Retirer le poulet du liquide salé, laver l'intérieur et l'extérieur du poulet avec de l'eau froide et éponger avec essuie-tout pour que la peau du poulet rôti soit bien croustillante.

5-Preheat oven at 170°C fan  / or 190°C / or 375°F / or gas mark 5.  / Préchauffer le four à 170°C, équipé de système de ventilation / ou 190°C / ou 375°F / ou 5 th.

6-Rub grated ginger, ground white pepper and some salt inside the chicken. / Bien frotter l'intérieur du poulet avec du sel, poivre blanc moulu et du gingembre râpé.

7-Mix 1 tablespoon of Oudi, Rass El Hanout and honey.  Add onion/orange/lemon slices, bay leaves, cinnamon stick together in a bowl, and use the mixture to stuff the chicken. Use 2 or 3 toothsticks to seal!  / Mélanger 1 c à soupe d'Oudi, Rass El hanout et miel, puis ajouter les morceaux d'orange/citron/oignon, feuilles du laurier, bâton de cannelle, et farcir le poulet avec ce mélange.  Sceller le poulet avec 2 ou 3 cure-dents.

8- Place it in the roasting pan, breast side down. Sprinkle with salt and some freshly ground mixed peppercorn. Rub the chicken all over with 2 tablespoons of Oudi. Roast the chicken. / Placer le poulet dans votre plat à rôtir,  la poitrine vers le bas, saupoudrer d'un peu de sel, puis de multiples graines de poivre fraîchement moulues.  Frotter 2 c à soupe d'Oudi sur la peau du poulet. Placer au four.

N.B. Generally, calculate a cooking time of 30 minutes per 500 gr of meat plus 15 minutes extra , therefore, I roasted my 1.5 kg chicken for at least 1 h 45. / En général, il faut prévoir 30 minutes pour 500 gr plus 15 minutes extra, le temps pour faire rôtir un poulet au four. Ainsi, j'ai laissé mon poulet de 1.5 kg rôtir pendant environ 1 h 45 minutes.

N.B. When you remove the chicken from the oven, don't forget to close the oven door because this could lower the oven temperature. / Lorsque vous arrosez le poulet, n'oubliez pas de fermer la porte du four pour éviter de baisser la température du four.

N.B. For basting the chicken, use the fat and juices that have accumulated in the roasting tin. / Pour arroser le poulet, utiliser le jus de cuisson qui s'est accumulé au fond du plat.

9-After 20 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and with a brush, baste the chicken with the fat and juices that have accumulated in the roasting tin. / Après 20 minutes, retirer le poulet du four, et arroser-le avec le jus de cuisson.

10-Place the chicken, wing side up, on a rack over the roasting pan and put the chicken in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes. / Retourner le poulet au four, en le plaçant sur le côté. Laisser cuire pendant 20 minutes.
11-Remove the chicken from the oven and baste it. Carefully flip the chicken so the other wing side is up. Roast for 20 minutes. / Retirer le poulet du four, et arroser-le de nouveau. Tourner délicatement le poulet pour qu'il soit placé sur l'autre cuisse. Laisser rôtir encore 20 minutes.

12-Remove the bird from the oven and  baste it.  Delicately place the bird this time breast side up. Roast for 30 minutes. /  Retirer du four et arroser-le de nouveau. Tourner délicatement le poulet dans votre plat à rôtir,  la poitrine vers le haut cette fois-ci.  Laisser cuire environ 30 minutes.

Basting the chicken / Arroser le poulet:

-Mix 1 teaspoon of honey + pinch of ground cinnamon + pinch of salt + 1 tablespoon of fresh orange juice +  1 tablespoon of olive oil  / Mélanger 1 c à thé de miel + une pincée de cannelle moulue + une pincée de sel + 1 c à soupe de jus d'orange frais + 1 c à soupe d'huile d'olive

Remove the bird from the oven, baste it with the mixture of honey and orange juice.  Allow to roast for 15 minutesCover with aluminium foil and let it rest for 10-to 15 minutes. / Retirer du four, badigeonner le poulet du mélange miel et jus d'orange puis retourner au four pendant 15 minutes. Sortir le poulet, couvrir avec du papier aliminium et laisser reposer entre 10 à 15 minutes avant de servir.

N.B. Remember to remove the toothpicks and  stuffing before serving. / N'oubliez pas d'enlever les cure-dents et de retirer la farce avant de servir. 

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