Ras-el-hanout Rubbed Chicken Recipe

Every morning it seems to take me a bit longer to get my posts prepared and up on the blog. I’ve been trying to do it over my lunch hour, but sometimes it can take longer than an hour (admittedly, I do get distracted).

For example, when I woke up this morning and looked in the mirror I was shocked to see I turned into a yetti overnight. I wasn’t able to begin work or even think about posting to my blog until I had a proper shave. My face was itchy from the stubbly beard that had developed, as though each hair was a mushroom popping up overnight. I looked like such a freakin’ mess.

But I am clean shaven now and ready to get on with talking about food, and the Ras-el-hanout Chicken I made last night. I found reference to ras-el-hanout on Immaeatchu’s blog the other day – she used the spice blend on chicken wings for a Super Bowl party. It looked wonderful, so I decided to give it a shot. I love a good spice rub, it makes for quick meal prep and gives such impact to any meat or veggie.

I read up on ras-el-hanout as I wasn’t familiar with the Moroccan spice blend. Traditionally, it can contain on the upwards of 20 or so ingredients and there are many variations on the actual recipe. I opted for the one below as I had everything on hand to make it. You can easily find many more on the web, some much more complicated than others.

from Epicurious

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

The recipe will yield about 2 tablespoons of spice rub and this will go a long way. I seasoned 3 chicken thighs and have plenty left over. I rubbed it into the thighs and let them sit for about 45 minutes before roasting. It’s not required that they rest, I just thought it might impart the flavor into the chicken.

While roasting the chicken, the first thing I noticed was that … it didn’t smell like I was making chicken. The warm, spicy smell gave a dessert-like perfume to the kitchen. The fragrance was soft and soothing, almost relaxing.

The thighs came out perfectly with spicy and crisp skin. The ras-al-hanout gave a nice punch of flavor, along with a little heat from the cayenne in the background. It’s not ‘hot’ by any means. I enjoyed it quite a bit and will play around with the remaining rub I have left.

In other news, I’m still working my way through Nigella’s breakfast bars. Although I thought maybe my review was too harsh, it was not. On a positive note, I assume the high levels of rolled oats are cleaning my arteries and helping to lower my cholesterol. It makes the bars go down easier if I think of it this way :-)

And, I regretfully finished my last bowl of vegetarian barley and lentil soup yesterday. It got better every day and I was sad to see it go. I have alot of barley and lentils in my pantry, so if you have any ideas let me know! I haven’t used either one too extensively.

More ras-el-hanout ideas found on the web:
Tajine and Ras el Hanout
Green rice with ras-el-hanout chicken

You might also like these posts:
Friday night sesame chicken
Easy roast pork and mixed vegetables

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  1. I made this blend too but from a different recipe. Mine included nutmeg and I think cardamom too. Yours looks great though!

  2. saras: thanks! i’ll have to try a version with nutmeg sometime, i bet that is a nice addition

    susan: it’s great! i haven’t decided what to use it for next, but looking forward to it

    paula: yes, you need to try it! it american cooking we don’t utilize spices like cinnamon and cloves for meats, and it’s such a nice combination to explore

  3. I haven’t even heard of ras-el hanout. I should get out more. Well, at least I have everything on hand too :) (except the chicken.) That recipe is a pound each of flour, butter, and sugar away from being awesome cookies! I would still pump it with more cayenne (even if it were cookies).

    Hey, at least you have the option of looking like a yeti. I have seen babies that are hairier than my sideburns. Someday when I… Grow up? Ha ha.

    I think the condensed milk cancels out the oats! Well, at least it is still soluble fiber :)

  4. Oh, you’ve got to make cookies with it! My first thought was to use it as a flavoring for a buttercream frosting to top some sort of cake :-) I know someone who made a curry frosting and liked it quite a bit.

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