Part two of ‘Queenie wants a rub down’
If you want a really good rub down I can recommend a place, it’s pretty easy to find, they leave the light on all night. It’s kinda like a hotel but you can stay by the hour. Great idea huh…
This is a spice mix that is based on a Moroccan ras-el-hanout or, literally translated, ‘head of the shop’. It is a blend made by spice merchants and house holds alike. All differing every so slightly… Many top secret.
So I guess I haven’t based mine on a ras-el-hanout at all. This is my ras-el-hanout. Hooray for ambiguity!
Moroccan-esque spice mix
1 Tbls each coriander seed, cumin seed, sumac, ground cinnamon
1 tspn chilli flakes
2 cardamon pods
Grind the cori seed, cumin seed, chilli flakes and cardamon in a spice grinder or something similar.
Mix with the cinnamon and sumac.
This is my ras-el-hanout
2 Tbls toasted coriander seeds
2 Tbls sea salt
1 tspn peppercorns
Smash above ingredients together with a mortar and pestle, or in a spice grinder if it’s your new favourite toy.
I know you know how to make a pilaf by now. Something with a bit of preserved lemon* in it would be nice. Or just use steamed rice if time or brain is limited.
You need one nice bird.
Butterfly that bird by slicing it down through the breast bone and then open her up like a book. It make take a little more strength than your average book but the basic principles are still there. Just don’t get stuck into having a good read, that’s just gonna freak someone out.
Rub it down with a splash of olive oil, the ras-el-hanout and some salt and pepper.
Into a pre-heated oven, 200C, for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to colour. Baste it with the lovely juices that should be floating around by now. Reduce heat to 170C for another 20-30 minutes, depending on the variables. Check the meat by poking a thermometer into the joint where the thigh joins the body. It should be 74C. if it isn’t cooked yet put it back in the oven for 5-10 ninutes
(Otherwise trial and error will work for you eventually if you have at least half a brain. Smell the smells, feel the meat, look at the colour of the juices, and then break a leg off and check… if it’s done, remember what you saw and smelled and felt. If not, better luck next time.)
Rest your bird for five or ten minutes while you put the plate together.
A bit of pilaf, some labne, some chicken – the maryland for me please, and give those left over pan juices a bit of a stir and pour a little over each plate, season with the coriander salt.
Eat it in your face!
You could quite easily do this dish with lamb or fish. The cooking times and techniques will vary for different cuts, so let me know if you need a hand…
*preserved lemon. Something you make when you have heaps of lemons on your tree.