Moroccan spiced chicken

Karen Martini
Moroccan spiced chicken.
Moroccan spiced chicken. Photo: Marina Oliphant

This is in the Moroccan mechoui style, which refers to cooking over a fire, and is usually used for spit-roasted lamb. The marinade is also perfect for roast chicken - just have the patience to marinate it overnight, which makes all the difference.


1.6kg organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces

6 cloves garlic

12cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

1 bunch coriander, cleaned (roots and all) and roughly chopped

½ bunch parsley, roughly chopped

3 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

2 tbsp smoked paprika

3 tbsp ground coriander

1 tbsp caraway seeds

2 tsp chilli powder

150g soft butter

1 tbsp salt flakes


1. In a food processor, blitz all the ingredients (except the chicken) to a fine paste, then smear over the chicken pieces. Cover and marinate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees fan-forced or 240 degrees conventional.

3. Spread the chicken in a small roasting tray (or earthenware dish) skin-side up with all the paste and bring to room temperature. The chicken needs to be quite snug in the roasting pan so that it 'wet roasts' and does not dry out.*

4. Pour 500ml of water into the tray. Roast for 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 160 degrees and cook for another one hour and 15 minutes.

5. Serve with couscous, blanched greens and thick plain yoghurt.

Drink Ice-cold lager

*Clarified from earlier version.