Moroccan Style Roasted Whole Chicken
Chef Patricio Duffoo
Of all the things to have in your arsenal of chicken recipes, a spatchcocked chicken should be at the top of the list. Using our Marrakesh Sitar spice blend, this incredibly flavorful, Moroccan inspired spatchcock chicken creates a stunning dish finished with a luxurious honey, orange, cinnamon butter sauce to finish. Add in some of your favorite roasted veggies and couscous to soak up the sauce and this recipe turns into a weekly favorite or weekend get together staple.
- On a clean working surface place the chicken breast-side down. Using a knife or kitchen shears cut the backbone on both sides and remove. Turn the chicken over breast-side up and with your hands open up the sides and press down the chicken to flatten as much as possible.
- Season the chicken generously with salt all over. In a mixing bowl, combine Marrakesh Sitar and olive oil to make a wet rub and rub it all over the chicken on both sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it inside your refrigerator for 4 hours (or just go ahead and move onto the next step).
- Preheat the oven at 400F.
- Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until the thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast reads 165F.
- While the chicken is in the oven, put all sauce ingredients except butter in a saucepan and bring it to boil uncovered, lower the heat and let it simmer for 4 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Once the chicken is done cooking, pull it out of the oven and let it rest for 8 minutes, while the chicken is resting bring the sauce to boil (you can add any juice from the chicken to the sauce), remove from heat and add the butter slowly while stirring to emulsify, pour over the chicken and serve.
- Served with couscous, roasted potatoes or any vegetables you desire.
- For better results, let your chicken sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before putting it inside the oven. Place your chicken in the middle oven rack. Use a baking/pastry cooling rack to bake your chicken so it gets crispy on both sides.
- This recipe is for a spatchcocked chicken which means removing the backbone and flattening the breast bone. This helps the chicken cook evenly and much quicker.
- If you plan to marinate your bird, it is important to season the chicken with salt before rubbing it with oil and letting it sit for a bit to let the salt dissolve into the chicken. You can even do this the day before to dry brine it. The reason we do this is because salt can dissolve into meat through osmosis which seasons and tenderizes the meat throughout. Oil creates a barrier which the salt can not penetrate and it will not dissolve into the chicken but merely stick to the outside. If you plan to skip the marinating step and cook right away then you can mix the salt with the spices and oil.
- Emulsification is when two liquids become one that don’t normally get along such as oil and water. When oil and water are combined with an ingredient that contains both oil and water and is then agitated vigorously the molecules break apart and mix together to create a creamy consistency. Mayo is an emulsification that is held together by blending egg yolk which contains both fat and water with oil and lemon juice or vinegar. A butter emulsified sauce which we are making with the chicken is a bit more challenging since the emulsifier is butter. Butter contains both fat and water but as it melts the fat and water based liquid separate.
- In order to create this emulsified butter sauce we need to reduce the orange, lemon and honey to create a slightly thicker consistency. We then take the pan off the heat and slowly add cubes of very cold butter, 2 at a time while stirring vigorously. Add the next 2 cubes when the butter is just about melted. The sauce will begin to get creamy and should hold together for a few minutes as you pour it over the chicken but this sauce can not be made ahead of time. Season to taste with salt.
- If the sauce is too hot when you add butter or the butter is not cold then the butter could melt and become oily and it won’t be emulsified and creamy. If you add the butter too quickly it can also melt too fat and separate. As you get better you can add the butter quicker but will need to make sure you are a quick stirrer.