Roast Moroccan chicken with chickpea chips, eggplant pickle and parsley salad


  • Serves 6 people

  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1½ tbsp white peppercorns
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 35 gm (¼ cup) plain flour
  • 400 ml buttermilk
  • 1 chicken (2 kg), jointed
  • To serve: sheep’s milk yoghurt mixed with tahini, lemon juice and honey
  • Eggplant pickle
  • 3 eggplant, diced into 2cm pieces
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 15 gm (2½ cm piece) ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp each ground coriander, ground turmeric, ground cumin and mustard seeds
  • 200 ml white wine vinegar
  • 75 gm brown sugar
  • Chickpea chips
  • 225 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 gm butter
  • 170 gm chickpea flour
  • For dusting: fine polenta
  • For shallow frying: vegetable oil
  • Parsley salad
  • 30 gm pine nuts
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ tbsp currants, soaked in 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
01   For eggplant pickle, lightly salt eggplant in a colander and stand until bitter juices drain (20-25 minutes). Rinse under cold water and pat dry with absorbent paper. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add half the eggplant, turn occasionally until golden (3-5 minutes), then drain on absorbent paper. Repeat with remaining oil and eggplant, then return reserved eggplant to pan with garlic, ginger, chilli and spices and sauté until fragrant (3-5 minutes). Deglaze with vinegar, then stir through sugar and reduce heat to medium. Simmer until slightly thickened (5-7 minutes), season to taste, spread onto an oven tray and set aside to cool.
02   For chickpea chips, bring milk, olive oil and butter to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, then gradually add chickpea flour, whisking continuously until very thick (3-5 minutes). Pour into an oven tray lined with baking paper and set aside to cool. When cool, turn out and cut into 2cm x 7cm chips. Just before serving, heat oil in a deep frying pan to 180C, dust chickpea chips in polenta and fry in batches, turning occasionally until golden and crisp (3-5 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper, season to taste and keep warm in oven.
03   Meanwhile, for parsley salad, toast pine nuts in a frying pan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden (3-5 minutes), then set aside to cool. Combine with remaining ingredients and season to taste.
04   Heat a char-grill pan over medium heat. Dry-roast whole spices until fragrant (30 seconds-1 minute), then finely grind with a mortar and pestle. Combine in a bowl with flour, remaining spices and 1 tbsp fine sea salt. Dip chicken pieces in buttermilk, then coat in spice mixture and grill, turning occasionally, until just cooked through (15-20 minutes). Serve with hot chickpea chips, eggplant pickle, parsley salad and tahini yoghurt.
This recipe is from the March 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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