Morrocan-spiced Roast Chicken

Roast chicken is a staple in our home, but herb-roasted chicken – as delicious as it is – can become dull from week to week.   The recipe for this chicken is my interpretation of the classic roast chicken frequently served in Morocco with lacto-fermented lemons and olives.   I spent quite a while in Morrocco doing volunteer work and developed a love of the nation’s cuisine.   Serve Moroccan-spiced Roast Chicken with Morrocan Preserved Lemons.

Don’t forget to save the bones for making a micronutrient-rich bone broth.

morrocan-spiced roast chicken

By Jenny Published: January 4, 2009

    Roast chicken is a staple in our home, but herb-roasted chicken - as delicious as it is - can become dull from week to week.   The …


    • 1 Pastured Roasting Chicken
    • 2 Tablespoons Unrefined Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 1 Organic Lemon, Quartered
    • 1 Tablespoon Powdered Turmeric
    • Pinch of Cayenne
    • 1 1-inch Knob Ginger, Peeled & Grated
    • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
    • ¼ Teaspoon Cumin
    • 1 Tablespoon Rose Water
    • Sea Salt and Black Pepper to Taste


    1. First, preheat the oven to 300 ° F.
    2. Next, rinse and pat dry the chicken. Set it aside while you prepare the spice rub.
    3. Pour olive oil into a mortar or bowl and add the garlic and ginger. Pound the garlic and ginger with a pestle or the back of a spoon–but don’t worry about creating a perfect paste. Add the remaining spices and rose water, continuing to pound the mixture into a chunky paste. Next, squeeze each lemon quarter into the paste and mix the juice in. Reserve the rinds.
    4. Massage the paste into the skin of the chicken. When the paste has been entirely used and the chicken is fully prepared, stuff the chicken with the reserved lemon rinds.
    5. Roast the chicken at 300 ° F for approximately 2 hrs and then turn up the heat in the oven to 425 ° F. Continue to cook until the chicken is golden-brown and the juice runs clear.

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    What people are saying

    1. Chelsea Wipf says

      Made this for dinner tonight… yummy! But the thing that really made it was the Preserved Lemon and Parsley Tapenade. Wowza! Fantastic combination.

    2. Jeanmarie says

      I am definitely going to try this. I’m on a Moroccan/Middle Eastern/mezze food kick after making baba ghanoush and hummus for the first time and tzatziki from an authentic recipe for the first time! But with all the oven time, I may wait for cold weather before I run the oven for 2+ hours.

    3. Sabina says

      hey, here’s a question…what brand of rose water do you use? do you trust it? or do you make your own. i have some rose petal tea, that i was thinking of making a decoction, and using that? do you think it’s a good substitute?

      thank you for all of your handy and tasty ideas!

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