Moroccan Roast Chicken and Vegetables

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Succulent and moist – Moroccan Roast Chicken

Was it just chance that we were watching a doco about a Moroccan women’s Fantasia team (look it up – fascinating) – while in the oven I had a dish cooking which was from a recipe called Moroccan Roast Chicken? Weird. Anyhow, I was drawn to the recipe because (a) it looked delicious (b) it was in one pot and (c) I had a chicken. (And quite probably in no way is this recipe authentic!)

The recipe I had was for potatoes and tomatoes to be added, however I added brussels sprouts and decided not to use tomatoes. The original recipe also called for dried apricots – alas the pantry did not have any so I subbed dried cranberries – and they were delicious! You get the drift – experiment with what is in your pantry.

To be more authentic you should cook this in a tagine – but we don’t have one. I did cook it in a ‘dutch oven’ – a very large heavy cast iron pan with a lid. It did the trick.

This will take about 2 hours to cook. Time enough to have a glass of wine (possibly more – it depends on your average minutes per glass I guess) and prepare any other veges you want to add to this dish. I steamed some carrot and then braised it in a little butter and cumin.

Left: Chicken with spice rub Middle: veges with oil rub Right: Ready to go into the oven

Turn the oven on to 180 degrees celsius.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sumac  
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 x medium sized chicken
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lime or lemon (or splash out and use a whole one)
  • 500g baby potatoes, cleaned
  • 8 clove garlic, peeled (I cut my cloves in half)
  • 2 handfuls of dried cranberries
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • parsley (to serve)

Mix spice mix together. Ensure chicken is dried (pat with a paper towel) and remove giblets if they have been left in. Pat spice all over chicken. Add quartered lime/lemon and 2 teaspoons of spice mix inside chicken. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your pan and then place chicken in pan.

Place potatoes, brussels sprouts, garlic and cranberries into a bowl and add about 2 tablespooons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix these together and then add into pan alongside the chicken.

Cover with the lid and let bake for up to 2 hours – depending on your chicken it might be ready 15 minutes or so earlier. Although I had a reasonably small chicken I cooked it for the whole 2 hours – it was delectably falling off the bones. Because the pan doesn’t create steam like a tagine, you might want to dowse the chicken with the pan juices when you have finished cooking (or even part way through).

Garnish with parsley and serve.

Mr MWCED and I decided this is definitely a keeper recipe and we’ll cook it again.

Stromboli

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Hot out of the oven – Stromboli

Do you ever feel like pizza but not pizza? Does that even make sense? If you know what I mean, you might like to think about Stromboli. It makes a change from pizza and if you decide to make it for guests they will be very impressed.

I have used homemade pizza dough – there are plenty of places to get a recipe – I might even post one at some stage. I prepare the pizza dough in the bread-maker on dough stage, and then a quick 5 minute knead and it’s ready. Make sure that your bench is well floured – you don’t want the pastry to stick when you are rolling it.

Pizza dough with tomato paste

For this Stromboli I made the dough with 3 cups of flour – it is a lot of dough – this should feed around 6 people.

Measurements aren’t really that necessary here – and you can easily substitute plenty of ingredients. For example, prosciutto, salami etc. Put some hot peppers in, maybe sub chicken for ham. You get the drift I’m sure.

  • Tomato paste
  • Pesto
  • Grainy Mustard
  • finely sliced ham (or whatever you prefer – it could just be vegetarian)
  • Mozzarella (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • Parmesan, grated
  • sliced pepper
  • sliced onion (I had some red onion to use up so used that)
  • baby spinach leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked

Roll out the dough, add paste, pesto, mustard to base of dough. Not too thick. Add ham and whatever other toppings you are going to use. Then add cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly brush egg on far side of dough. Start rolling- you need to be careful when rolling to make sure that the dough is not sticking. About a third of the way through fold in the sides. Keep rolling to the end.

Carefully put your Stromboli on a baking sheet with baking paper (if you prefer to use baking paper) – with seam side down.

Brush the top of your Stromboli with the egg mixture, add salt and pepper, parsley and some parmesan.

Cook in oven for around 45 minutes, until golden.

Let cool a little and then serve sliced. This can also be served cool – and is great for picnics and leftovers.

Serve with a salad. We also had some chilli jam and aioli.

Spice Cake Deliciousness

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Just had to taste a bit before taking the photo! Spice Cake Deliciousness

The last few weekends I have been testing my baking skills – not always my strong point – as I am not really an exact science sort of cook – which I think good baking often asks for. Don’t let the one pot, easy and quick mind-set put you off taking the baking plunge though! This cake doesn’t require too much love and exactness – AND it can be made in the food processor. Double win. Mr MWCED gives it the thumbs up – and he is a pretty ace baker himself…..

  • 1 cup milk (I used long-life non-Dairy – it has been asking to be used for some time – so I thought I would experiment – and it turned out fine)
  • 2 cups flour (all-purpose preferably – but you could try gluten-free)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 6 oz (170 g) butter, preferably unsalted
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground nutmeg (or fresh if you have some)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon all-spice
  • (note – next time I will also try adding some cardamom)
  • a springform pan (about 9″/23 cm) – you could also try using a loaf tin.  Best to prepare the tin by rubbing a small amount of butter around sides and bottom and then using baking paper to line the tin.  Or after adding butter, put a tablespoon or so of flour into the pan,  jiggle around until sides and bottom are covered and tip superfluous flour out.  
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C).
  2. Mix the baking soda (not baking powder) into the milk. Set aside.
  3. Put flour, baking powder, spices and brown sugar into food processor. Pulse until mixed.
  4. Add in the butter cut into cubes. Pulse until mixed and mixture is crumbly.
  5. Pour HALF of the crumbs into your pan. Press out a crust using your fingers and knuckles.
  6. Crack an egg into the food processor with the rest of the crumbs still in it.
  7. Pour in the milk and baking soda mixture. Continue to mix until a slightly lumpy tan batter.
  8. Pour the batter over the crust in the springform pan.
  9. Gently sprinkle the walnut pieces over the batter.
  10. Bake for approx. 40 minutes at 350F (175C). It’s ready when the top is golden brown, and when it passes the toothpick test (comes out clean).     This took longer in my oven (which is old and tired) – probably about 60 minutes – so if you are finding it needs longer it’s a good idea to put a clean piece of foil over the top of the cake to prevent it burning.
  11. Cool the cake in the pan – then take out and cool further on a wire rack.  

Delicious with vanilla bean yoghurt if dairy is not your thing – otherwise whip up some cream!