Chermoula is a North African spice blend or paste and like most of these blended mixes, there are great variations in recipes as to what combination of spices and herbs yield the best flavour. I like this combination which uses lots of fresh herbs, some earthy spices and lemon zest and juice to cut through everything. Obviously the longer you leave the chicken marinating, the more flavoursome it will be. For best results, let the chicken come to room temperature before your sear it. An alternate way to cook this would be on the barbeque. I used about half the chermoula mixture to marinate one chicken. The rest can be stored in a jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks, used as an accompanying sauce or brushed over fish or roast veggies for a middle eastern edge.
Chermoula Roast Chicken
1 chicken, butterflied
1 bunch coriander, leaves and stems
1/2 bunch parsley, leaves
2 heaped tbspn smoked paprika
1 tbspn ground cumin
4cm fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tspn chilli flakes
big pinch saffron
1 tspn coriander seeds
3 tbspn olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tspn Maldon salt
For chermoula paste, place all ingredients in a small food processor and blend to form a paste.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Rub the chermoula paste all over the chicken. Try to get some under the skin and all over the back and front. Place in a large snap lock bag and allow to marinate overnight if you have time or for at least half an hour if you don’t.
Place a flame proof oven dish over the stove and heat to high. Sear the chicken, skin side down, for 2 minutes. Transfer the dish to the oven and roast for about an hour, tuning the chicken over after about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let the chicken rest for 15 minutes.
Top with a good pinch of salt and some lemon juice and serve with roasted veggies and a green salad.