Mechoui-style roast chicken

Mechoui-style roast chicken

A Month in Marrakesh
David Loftus


Quantity Ingredient
garlic, chopped
60g ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 bunch coriander, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground coriander
100g butter, softened
1.6kg chicken, jointed into 6 pieces
500ml cold water
green salad
za'atar yoghurt dressing
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the smen paste, place 6 garlic cloves, chopped, 60g ginger, peeled and chopped, 1/2 bunch coriander, chopped, 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped, 2 tablespoons ground cumin, 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons ground coriander, 100g butter, softened, in a food processor. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and blend to a fine paste. Transfer to a bowl. Rub the smen paste all over the chicken, then transfer the chicken to a large bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  2. Remove 1.6kg chicken, jointed into 6 pieces, from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Transfer the chicken and any remaining smen paste to a large baking tin, pour 500ml cold water around the chicken and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 160°C and roast for about 2 hours more, basting occasionally with the juices in the pan, or until the meat is tender and the skin is crisp, and can be removed easily with your fingers.
  4. Serve with a green salad and za'atar yoghurt dressing.
North African
A Month in Marrakesh
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