Afolous Imim - Djaj 7lou (Hlou)- Moroccan Sweet, Sticky Chicken Sauce

This sauce is meant to cover a cooked roasted chicken, which is then put back in the over for an extra 10 to 15 minutes, allowing it to taste all the different flavours in the sauce. Timing is important in this recipe, since the bird should be cooked to use its sauce to make this recipe. Start making the sauce 15 to 20 minutes before the bird is fully cooked.

The  sauce is for 1.5kg to 2kg whole chicken

  • Ground mace: ¼ teaspoon

  • Cardamom : 3 to 4 seeds (Toast the cardamom pods in a dry skillet over low heat for 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, transfer in a mortar and smash with a pestle to crack open the pods, or put them on a cutting board and chop them with a knife)
  • Onion sliced: 1 medium
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, crushed
  • Bay leaf : 1
  • Celery stalk: 1, cut in half or small pieces
  • Coriander and parsley leaves: 4 stalks for each (Allow the sauce to benefit from texture of all the herbs you're using, so don't stem your parsley nor your coriander)
  • Argan oil: 3 tablespoons, or use olive oil
  • Powdered black pepper: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Apple vinegar: 2 tablespoons
  • Salt: to taste
  • Powdered cinnamon: ¼ teaspoon
  • Tomato: 1 medium
  • Honey: 2 tablespoons
  • Powdered ginger: ¼ teaspoon
  • Black raisins or (dates, or prunes, stones removed and chopped): 50 to 80 gr
  • Most of the sauce you can collect from the cooked roasted chicken
  • Turmeric or Curuma: ¼ teaspoon
  • Cornstarch or starch or maize : 1 teaspoon (to use only if the sauce is too runny)

  • Method

    You need a cooked roasted chicken for your sauce. Remove giblets from chicken if it has any. If you always wash chicken before cooking, make sure the sink is empty and no dishes around. Washing the bird or not, it’s up to you, some does, some does not. However; food professionals and chefs recommend not to to wash any type of meat before cooking to minimise bacteria spread in your kitchen.

    Place it into a roasting pan. Chop some fresh coriander and parsley, mix them with pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, pinch of powdered black pepper and ginger. Rub this mixture all over the inside and outside of the chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight if possible, to marinate. Just before roasting, roughly chop 1 small orange or lemon and stuff into the cavity of the chicken. Cover with aluminium paper, and roast at the maximum heat  for 5 to 6 hours, depending on the weight of the bird. Halfway cooking, begin basting the bird with the pan juices. Repeat this, 2 or 3 times before removing the bird from the oven.

    The chicken is ready when the internal temperature is between 180 degrees, use a thermometer to make sure it’s cooked and should be inserted into the thickest part. When cooked, remove all the sauce, and put aside. Cover the chicken with a clean aluminium paper and set aside.

    Prepare the sauce :
    • Pour oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute onion,  garlic until soft and translucent.
    •  Stir in celery, tomato, vinegar, chicken sauce you put aside, all spices and herbs. Simmer 25 to 30 minutes 
    •  After about 30 to 35 minutes, the sauce is cooked and less runny. If not, add cornstarch and mix well and allow to cook few minutes. 

  • Transfer the sauce into a food processor and blend.

    •  Pass the sauce through a sieve into back to the pan where it was cooked.
    • Add honey and raisins and stir on a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    • Before serving, cover the whole chicken with sticky sauce and back to the oven for a 10 to 15 minutes. Watch it closely, it can burn easily. 
    • Remove from the oven and serve.

    Other Moroccan Chicken Recipes:
    Honey and Orange Roasted Chicken

    Moroccan sweet chicken with almonds and apricots

    Sticky Roasted Ras El Hanout Chicken


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