Aunt Suzy says . . .

This roasted cauliflower is not only delicious, it’s good for you!  In a prelude to the original recipe, it states “The turmeric, white peppercorns and coriander seeds are beneficial to the respiratory and circulatory systems; the kumquat, with its sour and bitter tastes, warms the chest and eases coughs.”  And I will say that the shallot I used was hot, hot, hot, –  adding to the overall warming effect.  Served with these Indian-spiced chicken burgers, which made for a great meal. A French Pinot Gris was a perfect match for the spices of these two dishes.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

One 3-pound head of cauliflower, cored and separated into 1-inch florets

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings

4 kumquats, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and sliced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, spices, salt, garlic and crushed red pepper.

Place the cauliflower on a large foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle the cauliflower with the olive oil mixture and toss to coat. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.  Check and stir after 15 minutes.  Scrape the cauliflower into a serving bowl. Add the sliced shallot, kumquats and cilantro and toss well. Can be served hot, warm or room temperature.

Margaux says

This dish is a staple in our household.  The chicken is perfect: juicy, flavorful and perfectly cooked every time.   The carrots are super delicious…my husband, who doesn’t like cooked carrots, even loves them.  It’s also very easy to make, and can be a relatively quick weeknight meal.  You need to have the preserved lemons in order to make this (I made it without them once and the chicken wasn’t nearly as good!).  If Meyer lemons aren’t available (and they’re not right now…they’re only in season from February-April), you can use regular lemons.   And you can buy preserved lemons in some stores, like Whole Foods, but they’re not NEARLY as good as homemade.

Aunt Suzy says

I also love this recipe and Margaux is reminding me that we have not made this in a long, long time!  I just noticed carrots available for the first time at the farmer’s market last weekend, so I have a hunch this will be on our menu soon.  The original recipe for this did not call for preserved lemon, instead calling for thin slices of lemon placed over the chicken.  I’ve made it both ways and like it with the preserved lemon better – but then I love preserved lemon!!  Sparkle Rice seems to be a perfect match for this dish, but I’ve been thinking of experimenting with Isreali Couscous lately as a side dish.  The original recipe suggested an off-dry riesling or a rose – either is perfect!

MOROCCAN-STYLE CHICKEN WITH SPICED CARROTS

Serves 4

The Carrots

6-8 large carrots

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

pinch cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Peel the carrots.  Using a study vegetable peeler, cut carrots into lengthwise ribbons.


Toast the cumin seeds lightly and then crush in a mortar and pestle.  Toast the coriander seeds. (I toast them together and crush both.)   Toss the carrots with all remaining ingredients and place in a 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 500 degrees in the upper third of the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes – stir after 4 minutes.

The Chicken and Finishing

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs OR 4 boneless, skinless breast halves (we always use breasts)

1/8” wide strips of preserved lemon (or thin slices of whole lemon, cut cross-wise)

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (we always use more, but then we’re cilantro lovers!)

Brush the chicken lightly with olive oil and place on top of the carrots after they have baked per above.  Place the strips of preserved lemon or fresh lemon slices on top of the chicken.  Put back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes more (depending on thickness of the breasts), until the juices run clear.  Don’t overcook.  Place chicken on a platter.  Toss the carrots with the cilantro and place beside the chicken on the platter.

Sparkle Rice

Sauté in a little vegetable oil until soft – 2-4 garlic cloves, minced; 1-2 tablespoons chopped ginger; 1 medium onion, diced; 2 carrots, diced.

Add 2 cups white basmati rice and sauté till translucent.  Add a little less than 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth and 5 whole cloves and a 2-inch piece of cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till the broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Let sit for a few minutes, then remove the cloves and cinnamon and stir to blend.  Add some golden raisins if you wish.