Tag Archives: Morocco

Moroccan-inspired Dinner. Roast chicken with chickpea stuffing and sauteed okra.

 When was the last time you had a proper Sunday dinner {or Friday dinner in Arabic countries}? Do you plan it ahead or make it spontaneously? I suggest you to plan the dinner this time. Find the recipe you haven’t tried yet (or try mine) and which doesn’t require much time to be cooked, do the shopping a day ahead. And probably in the weekend you can allow yourself the luxury of feasting on the company of those you love the most.
 I love to spend a weekend afternoon in the kitchen preparing dinner surrounded by the wonderful aromas! Last weekend I was browsing through the photographs from the trip to Morocco, and inspired by all those bright, ancient and beautiful scenes, I decided to prepare the dinner in Arabic style. 🙂
 This roasted chicken recipe is a terrific option for dinner if you are looking for scrumptious, healthy and something easy to cook! The richness of garlic, the fire of harissa paste and the aroma of lemon make the dish comforting and that the whole family will love!
 So get cooking! 😉
Arabic-spiced Chicken

Roast Arabic-spiced Chicken

Roast Arabic-spiced Chicken
1*1.3-1.5 kg chicken,corn fed, free range
Salt, pepper to taste
2Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 tsp thyme leaves, fresh or dried
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
3-4 tsp harissa paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ginger powder
5 allspice berries, ground
1 Tbsp olive oil
+2 Tbsp zaatar
200g chickpeas, cooked or from tin
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small chilli, finely chopped
1/2 lemon
olive oil
Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Coat it inside and out with salt and pepper.
Gently separate the skin from the flesh with your fingers and insert butter and thyme under the skin.
Mix ingredients for the rub to make a marinade. Rub all over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cook. Sprinkle with zaatar.
For the filling, in a bowl mix chickpeas, garlic, chilli and a dash of olive oil. Stuff the chicken and place the half of the lemon at the entrance.
Truss the chicken and place in the roasting pan (breast-side up).
Roast in preheated 210C oven for 40 minutes, then down the heat to 180C and roast 30-40 minutes more, or until the juices run clear.
Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Extract the lemon from the cavity of the chicken and spoon the filling in a serving bowl. Squeeze the juice from the lemon, season with salt and pepper, mash chickpeas with a spoon a little bit. Drizzle with olive oil.

Sauteed Okra

400-500g fresh okra, cut into pieces
400g/1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic, chopped
2 tsp dark muscovado or brown sugar
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
fresh coriander, chopped
salt, pepper to taste
olive oil
Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat, add onion and saute until soft.
Add garlic, okra and cook for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, lemon juice, sugar, season with salt and pepper.
Cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes more.
Turn off the heat, sprinkle with coriander.
Serve alongside the roast chicken and chickpeas.
Enjoy the food!

Morocco. Part I

Hello there! How is your week going on? I promised to show you some photos from my holiday trip to Morocco, here they are.Cherries!

Morocco is an amazing and charming country, where time appears to have stood still.. May be the only exception are cosmopolitan cities, such as Casablanca.

RabatMorocco has turned out to be the endless country; we have covered about 2,500 km by car for just only a week. All major cities are located quite distant from each other, but if you rent a car and take a highway, few sights can be seen from the car, but mostly vast fields, and red Atlas Mountains closer to the Southern part of the country and lonely houses of shepherds and farmers. Reasons for stop on the road are limited, only same-looking petrol stations spread unevenly along the road. On the radio were played Arabian songs, thus we were forced to recall all word-games from our childhood, and looked at passing scenes. Moroccan landscape is very diverse, we passed medleys, mountains, coastlines… I was surprised to see a lonely house in the middle of corn or sunflower field, but after several hours, it became normal to see a small hut far away from the road, even in the middle of dried and cracked area.. Once, I and husband felt ourselves in the middle of nowhere! We drove an amazingly awful and damaged road across the desert, pure darkness surrounded us and I have never fell myself in a such dark place, there was no even a single light around. While we drove, we decided to stop in the middle of the road, then we switched off the car lights, opened the windows and began to listen… Nothing! It was absolute silence and pitch darkness…

Spending time in the heart of the Moroccan cities is one of the great ways to enjoy this country. They call old part of a city – Medina. Very ambient place with narrow streets, and ancient buildings, souks (markets), craftsmen’s and regular workshops.. Medina is cars free, so you can walk and enjoy! But be careful – it’s easy to get lost in its chaotic, tiny alleyways. I was amazed by an exotic medley of smells that came from spice souks! And all those fruits and vegetables stalls.. Fruits are so cheap, that I wish I could buy a hundred kilos of cherries and figs! I imagined how many delicious pies and jams I could made! 😀

Rabat StreetThe first city we stopped by was Rabat. It’s a capital, which lies on the Atlantic coast. To describe the city in few words, I can say the following: amazing wooden stuff, beautiful carpets, honey-touched and the tastiest figs ever tried, cheap cherries (around 2.6US$ per kg), too fatty cheesy pastry (wasn’t good), yummy street-baked crepes (yes, crepes!), pestering henna-painting women, and gorgeous green doors!Stunning Rabat Doors


Birthday trip

Hello my dear readers!

 I’ve been away from the blogging for some time, but I had a serious reason – it was by birthday and …  birthday trip!
 My beloved husband made me surprise and we went to Morocco. I can’t even describe how excited I was! Long time ago I watched one TV-series, where the main character lived for some time in Morocco and some action happened there also, and I had a great desire to visit this amazing country since then.
 Morocco had always seemed mysterious country to me, the country from cartoon Alla-din and the book ‘1000 and 1 night’..
The reality and impression about this place exceeded all my expectations. Magical places like Medina and various Souqs all over the major cities, the unique ambiance and atmosphere made Morocco indeed a one of its kind and worth to visit and see. I have got some pictures from the trip and going to share them with you very soon.