Recipe for Moroccan Spiced Chicken with spicy pineapple wedges and roasted almonds

1 free range chicken (mine weighed 1.5 kg – adjust spices according to weight of the bird)
3 T ras el hanout
3 T medium masala (less is preferred)
2 T NoMu Moroccan Rub
1/2 t cinnamon
2 tsp ginger & garlic paste (or fresh)
1 lemon, cut in half
2 T ghee (or butter)
50 ml olive oil
salt to taste
300 g pineapple wedges
100g almonds (blanched or with skin)

How to
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Add all the spices, ginger and garlic paste, salt, the juice of half a lemon and the ghee to a bowl and mix well. Use your hands because you’re going to have to use them to smear the chicken anyway.

Slip your fingers under the skin to loosen. Spread the paste under the skin, over the skin and in the cavity. Try to distribute it evenly. Add both lemon halves, including the one you squeezed the juice out of, in the cavity.

Pour the oil over- it is a generous amount but you are not adding any stock or liquid and you want the bird to be moist and bronze up nicely.

Roast for 35 minutes and then turn the bird. Roast for a further 50 minutes, turning again when you add the almonds.

Chicken is done when a skewer is pierced between thigh and bone and juices run clear. Add pineapple slices in the last 40 minutes and mix them in the pan juices. Turn pineapple after 20 minutes and bring the heat up to 200 degrees Celsius for last 10 minutes.

Add the almonds in the last 20 minutes and coat with the spicy oil. If you find this a bit complicated, first cook the chicken. Then remove from pan.

Add first the pineapple to the pan and cook for 2o minutes, turn and add the almonds. You may add the chicken along with the pineapples and almonds in the last 10 minutes to brown at 200 degrees Celsius. Serve with couscous or basmati rice and a simple tomato, onion and mint sambal.

Recipe provided by Ishay Govender-Ypma, selected by Mail & Guardian as one of the Top Young South Africans in 2014 for contributions to media. She is a food and travel writer and recipe developer based in Cape Town. She crafts short stories on social media and longer ones in print and on the web:
Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @Foodandthefab.

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