Sunday, June 8, 2008

Trying Moroccan: Peach Honey-Roasted Chicken

This is my third recipe to try, after having done a search on the internet under the term "Moroccan." It was delicious, and was by far the easiest to assemble and cook...not that any one of the recipes so far has been complex.

The sauce was so good I wanted to have something to absorb all of it! SO soooooo good!

There were a couple of things I adapted from this recipe; I did not have rose water as an ingredient, so I substituted the only thing I had on hand that had a subtle flavor/fragrance...a teaspoon of orange marmalade. Later I remembered I have some Guava Jelly somewhere in the back of the pantry...that might have approximated rose water a bit more closely. Ah well, next time.

The other adaptation was the cooking time. I did not use frozen chicken pieces, nor were the chicken legs very thick, but I had to cook them longer than the recipe calls for in order for them to be nearly falling off the bone. I don't like chicken that's difficult to release from the bone; cooking it longer did the trick for me with this.

When I cooked it, I was in a hurry to pack some of the legs for Jack's dinner overnight at work. The nice thing was that even after the three of us had eaten this meal, there was still a lot left over. So I took the leftover legs, put them into a Corningware dish, poured the liquid and peaches over, and left them in a very low oven overnight. Today, I will shred the meat, add it to the liquid, and serve it over cous cous with a green side salad.

And I'll garnish with the sliced almonds -- something I forgot to do last night when I served this, even though I had some on hand...oops! I might even throw some cilantro over all for some extra taste...for some reason, two of us have been craving cilantro lately, and haven't gotten it out of our systems yet!

The recipe I used was already adapted from another recipe, and it stated the original incorporated apricots rather than peaches. The amended recipe called for fresh peaches, but since I had canned, I used them, drained. They were already in syrup, so I omitted the sugar in the recipe.

I am not a sweet-tasting meat lover, per se. But I appreciate subtlety. And flavor! The sweet and salty liquid was only made better with the addition of the peaches, and I can see how this recipe would be delicious cooked in clay...something I don't have yet...which would enrich the flavor even more. I imagine the original recipe came from such, most likely cooked in a tagine.

Well, without further ado, here's the recipe and link!

1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon rose water
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste (I used a generous amount)
4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, with skin
1 pound fresh peaches, pitted and sliced
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (optional)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a glass measuring cup small saucepan, combine the margarine, honey, rose water, salt and pepper.
Heat in the microwave on medium heat until margarine has melted, about 30 seconds.
Place chicken in a baking dish and pour the margarine mixture over it.
Stir to coat the chicken completely. Place the dish of chicken into the oven.
Cook uncovered in the preheated oven until chicken pieces have browned, about 15 minutes (mine took longer).
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Add the peaches to the dish and sprinkle with sugar (if using drained canned peaches, omit sugar).
Continue to roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 more minutes (it took mine 35-40).
Remove chicken pieces to a serving dish and pour the juices from the pan over them.
Garnish with slivered almonds.

Here's the first step: browning the chicken in the liquid at a higher temperature. You don't want pale chicken...

Here's the other step: adding the fruit, lowering the temp to 350 and putting it back into the oven for the remaining cooking time...

Here's the finished product...oops! I forgot to sprinkle on the toasted almond slivers! Notice there is nothing served with these. They smelled and looked so wonderful, it's all I wanted! But it would be great with a cous cous or rice prepared with chicken broth...mmmm...and of course a deep, green garden salad! The addition of hot toasted pita bread brushed with butter and honey would be awesome, too...

Tucked back into a ceramic casserole, the remains of the day will go into a very very low temp oven, later to be deboned and put back into the liquid to serve over whatever starch vehicle (rice, cous cous, mashed or roasted potatoes, etc) strikes the fancy! Yum!

Will I try this again. Oh yes! The flavor is not as unusual as the other recipes I've tried so far, and not spicy at all, but the blend of chicken juices, honey, and fruit was a perfect combination. This recipe is so easy, even a (supervised) child can make it.

Which is why I forgot the final ingredient?? haha!!


steph said...

Being a vegetarian, I wasn't all that interested in the recipe, but scrolling down... shazam! A cornflower blue corningware casserole. All my childhood homemade macaroni and cheese was made in such a dish. Probably tuna casserole with potato chips on top too.

Robbyn said...

Hey Steph! With all the fabulous veg you guys grow, I'd be a vegetarian, too :) doncha love the corningware? I wish I had a bunch of those I grew up with! It was my grandma's cookingware-of-choice and whenever we came to visit, she'd have one of them with warm chicken and rice in the oven awaiting our arrival.

ilex said...

Yes, but can it also be made with bucketville peacock?

Country Girl said...

That looked great! My hubby works overnights too. I used to but now I try to avoid. Have a nice week, Kim