The Moroccan flavors of cumin, cinnamon and lemon add a nice twist to grilled or roasted chicken. Butterflying the chicken takes minutes (or have your butcher do it – even faster) and the flattened chicken cooks evenly and in a fraction of the time it usually takes to cook a whole chicken, producing a juicy bird with a crisp golden skin.
- 1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (through a garlic press)
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper (or a few dashes of cayenne)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1-2 T lemon juice
- freshly ground black pepper
1. Butterfly chicken: with poultry sheers, cut along the length of the backbone on either side and remove it. Turn chicken over and with the palm of your hand, press down on the breast to flatten the chicken. Pat dry with paper towels.
2. Make spice paste: combine garlic, spices, olive oil, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper to taste in a small bowl. Rub the paste over both sides of the chicken, gently loosening the skin under the breasts and thighs with one finger and rubbing some of the paste between the meat and the skin. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for an hour or more, or overnight if you wish.
3. Cook over indirect heat skin side up on a grill, covered, until done (about 40 minutes for a small bird, longer if bigger). Alternately roast in the oven, making sure not to overcook it as it will cook faster than a whole chicken usually does. You can also use this rub for chicken parts – make sure to loosen the skin and rub the paste underneath. Serve with lemon wedges.