Moroccan Chicken

This is an "empty the spice rack" braised chicken recipe that will make your kitchen smell amazing.


1 tbsp caraway
1 piece of fresh ginger root about one inch square
5 cloves garlic
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 lemon
1 tbsp harissa*
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp crushed coriander seed or ground coriander
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 red onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 chopped tomato
1 whole chicken

* Harissa is a North African chili paste. You can buy it prepared from specialty grocers or make it yourself. In this concentration, it doesn't add much heat. If you're looking for more burn, either add more or supplement with cayenne to taste.


Heat the caraway in one tablespoon of the olive oil until fragrant. Add it to a food processor.
Peel the zest from the lemon and juice it. Reserve the zest and put the juice in the food processor.
Add ginger root, garlic, almonds, harissa, cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, pepper, and saffron threads to the food processor.
Puree spices in food processor to form a rough paste.
Quarter the chicken and remove the spine.
Rub paste over the chicken pieces.
Chop the onion and sautee it in a large pot with the rest of the olive oil.
When the onion is lightly browned and soft, add the chicken parts and three to four cups of water (enough to not quite cover the chicken).
Bring pot to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes turning chicken pieces once or twice.
Set chicken aside on a baking sheet. It'll be tender and a yellowish color.
Add tomato, lemon zest and cilantro to sauce in pot.
Preheat broiler
Return water to boil, then simmer until it reduces, about 20 minutes.
Place chicken on baking sheet and broil until brown six to ten minutes.
Serve chicken with sauce and couscous or rice pilaf.