Homecooking: Moroccan Baked Chicken / by Deborah Clague

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I've decided to "share my work" as I learn how to cook and bake. Every week I try something new. In some instances, like this example that I made from scratch this weekend, the results are amazing – the combination of spices was fragrant and flavourful. At other times though ... the results have been a bit disastrous (will get to this another day). Regardless, in less than a year, I feel I have made great progress. 

For Moroccan baked chicken, I used an easy online recipe by The Stay At Home Chef for the meat portion and my trusty 'Posh Rice' cookbook for the rest. This has become my main go-to resource for dinner. There are infinite ways in which to dress up this staple and I am on a mission to try them all. This version incorporated basmati with allspice, red onion, garlic, cucumber and chicken stock. I bastardized the original recipe slightly and substituted pine nuts and pumpkin seeds for sliced almonds, and cranberries for pomegranate which I couldn't find in the grocery. Once done, I garnished with fresh coriander. 

I'm in the process of limiting meat intake but when I do, I use certified humane. This is a personal choice which might seem naive but I believe that if an animal is sacrificed for my pleasure, then the least I can do is support a better life for it while alive. This chicken was marinated overnight with a mixture of lemon juice, smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and ginger. The following day, I squeezed more lemon juice overtop and placed pieces of the fruit with the chicken in the oven for forty minutes (400 degrees). 

My dinner companion was greatly impressed and proceeded to eat all the leftovers the following day, leaving me to make a sandwich. While I might normally be annoyed, I made him do handyman work in my condo all weekend so I figured it was a fair trade (bartering is another skill I am mastering). My own personal review is that this chicken was some of the best I've ever eaten. The marinade was perfect. I will next attempt it on some of my other favourites. 

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