I came across this recipe for Moroccan Brick Chicken about fours years ago. I have cooked it countless times. And while I don’t like to play favorites among my favorite recipes, between you and me, this is my mostest favoritest dish to come out of my kitchen. So, it’s indefensible that it’s just making it onto this site.
As the cover photo implies, this chicken is full of deep, bold flavors: spicy cayenne, smoky paprika and cumin and, earthy and sweet cinnamon. And while the spices combine to create a beautiful, warm and fragrant rub, it’s the lemon that gives the chicken that little something extra by adding a touch of tang and brightness – bringing the dish to life. It’s a very juicy and succulent dish. I always serve it with the Mint Yogurt Dressing to add a little sweetness, coolness and cream to the plate.
NOTES: For best results, you should butterfly, and remove breast plate of chicken. Also, I made a few tweaks to the original recipe: increasing the lemon juice to better round out the spices and using ground spices instead of toasting whole spices (the amounts were adjusted to reflect the change).
MOROCCAN BRICK CHICKEN
Adapted from Chef Tyler Florence
- 2 TBL ground cumin
- 2 TBL ground coriander
- 1.5 TBL cinnamon
- 1 TSP sweet paprika
- 1 TSP cayenne
- 3 TSP kosher salt
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for sautéing
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, (about 2-3 lemons)
- 1 whole free-range chicken, split and butterflied (video on butterflying chicken)
Mix cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne and kosher salt in bowl. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice. Place chicken in a large plastic “Zip-loc” bag. Pour in cumin marinade and “squish” around until the chicken is thoroughly coated. Marinate chicken for 4 hours or overnight.
Place foil-wrapped brick in oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add a 2 count of extra-virgin olive oil and cook chicken skin side down. Carefully, remove bricks from the oven and immediately cover with foil-wrapped brick (alternatively, you can use a heavy skillet). Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until chicken is golden brown. Finish cooking in the oven for a further 20 to 25 minutes. If the chicken hasn’t cook through, removed brick(s) to allow the top side to roast faster. Internal temperature between the leg and thigh should register 165 degrees F. Serve with Mint Yogurt Dressing.
MINT YOGURT DRESSING
- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
- ½ bunch chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ bunch fresh mint leaves
- 2 green onions, green parts only
- 2 TBL honey
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Combine yogurt, cilantro, mint, green onions, honey, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a blender. Blend to smooth consistency and chill.