Moroccan-Style Roast Chicken with Spiced Couscous

Thanksgiving is 10 days away. Ten days! I’ve come to realize that we need to clear space in the freezer. This is no small task at our house.You can hardly squeeze a sack of frozen corn in there due to the amount of hording I did over the summer. See, we get meat every other week in our Fair Shares CSA box. Jeff and I aren’t big meat eaters in the summer. We end up pounds and pounds of frozen chickens, lamb, bison, you name it, taking up freezer space.

About a week ago, I thawed one of the chickens and rubbed it with this spiced honey butter. It crisped up nicely in the oven. The house smelled like butter, honey and cinnamon for hours. The meat was deliciously juicy. A drizzle of honey butter sauce  amplified the flavor . And guess what? It was hardly any work.

As you can see, though, the ankles (do chickens have ankles?)  did get a little too brown. I should have put foil over the chicken earlier than I did.  The rest, though, roasted perfectly.

The couscous is about as essential to this meal as the honey butter. Please do make the couscous. The raisins, almonds, cinnamon and saffron are sooo good in it.

Moroccan-Style Roast Chicken
Bon Appetit, October 2007

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 (4 3/4- to 5-pound) whole chicken, rinsed, patted dry

Put rack in the middle of oven; preheat to 400°F. Whisk butter, honey, cinnamon, and turmeric in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer 1/4 cup honey butter to small bowl; reserve.

Place chicken on rack in roasting pan. Brush the bird with some of remaining honey butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast chicken until thermometer inserted into thickest part of the breast registers 165°F to 170°F, brushing occasionally with honey butter and covering loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to platter. Drizzle with reserved honey butter.

Spiced Couscous
Bon Appetit, October 2007

2 cups hot water
3/4 cup raisins [golden and/or dark]
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter, divided
3 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup couscous

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Combine 2 cups hot water and raisins in small bowl. Soak  the raisins for about 15 minutes until they’re soft. Drain water into large saucepan; reserve raisins. Add 2 tablespoons butter, wine, and saffron to pan; bring to boil. Stir in couscous. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand until couscous soaks up the liquid, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion; cover and cook until translucent and tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Mix onion, softened raisins, almonds, and cinnamon into couscous. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


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