A couple of weeks ago the newspaper encouraged me to try some Moroccan flavours, so I got brave and added rose petals to a special masala that involves some Indian ingredients, but not the usual combinations. The results are exotic, scrumptious and irresistible.
This recipe does involve a minimum of 24 hour marinating time, so don’t try it tonight if you’re hungry now. It’s a fabulous treat for guests though, if you can plan ahead.
|Gather while ye may, or find dried in an ethnic grocery shop.|
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 scant tablespoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon black cumin seed
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 green cardamom pods, bashed and crushed
30 dried rosebuds
1 seville orange, sliced with pits removed
2” finger fresh ginger
2 Thai chili (or you could go up to 10 if you want it really spicy!)
8 to 10 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup plain yogurt
|I'm lucky to have these bay leaves fresh!|
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
3 cinnamon sticks
3 to 5 Bay leaves
1 free range frying chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into two inch pieces
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon ghee
2 potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges
5 curry leaves
Begin by roasting the whole spices gently in a dry pan on high heat. This will take just a few minutes. As soon as they’re fragrant, remove from heat and add the ground cinnamon. Swish around for a moment or two and sweep it all into a spice grinder. Grind to a fine powder.
In a blender, add the orange pieces, chilies, garlic, oil, yogurt, salt and ground spices. Buzz to a thick paste.
|Roast gently for just a few minutes.|
Stuff the chicken with half the masala paste, and two cinnamon sticks and some bay leaves. I have a marinating contraption that my chicken fit into perfectly, so it got another tablespoon of masala paste, along with the remaining bay leaves and cinnamon stick. The rest of the masala paste is rubbed over the chicken. My contraption lets me remove the air, but I don’t know if such a device is necessary. Cover whatever you use and set aside in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Pour the remaining oil into the bottom of a roasting pan, and add the sweet potatoes. Make sure they are well coated in the oil and salt. Place the masala stuffed and smothered chicken over the sweet potatoes. Roast at 350 F for 1 hour. Remove from oven and move and baste the sweet potatoes, so they brown on all sides.
|Cut the hard parts off the garlic but leave the paper.|
Put potatoes, more salt, ghee and curry leaves into a separate oven proof container. Baste with some of the chicken drippings. Put all back in the oven. Bake for another hour. If you have a meat thermometer, it will let you know exactly when to take the chicken out. When you do, remove the sweet potatoes to the regular potato dish and continue to cook while the chicken rests on the counter top for at least twenty minutes.
|A floral white wine for a floral chicken!|
Carve the chicken and serve with the potatoes and something very green. Asparagus is coming into the groceries now, and it’s a good price. I just cooked it with a bit of butter in the microwave, squeezing a bit of fresh lemon on after.
This recipe is a complex set of floral flavours. The Seville orange is floral and fragrant on its own, and with the rosebuds and spices it’s exquisite! Because it takes time to make, and it’s so exotically fancy, be sure to have a guest or two. They might even bring you an excellent wine that magically goes with!
Tune in tomorrow for what we had for dessert. (Hint—it involves more Seville oranges. I have another five to go…)
|Potatoes will get so golden and crispy, yet soft inside. Chicken's pretty good too!|