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Cook this: Baharat whole-roasted chicken with shallots, preserved lemon and sweet potatoes from Eating Out Loud


Our cookbook of the week is Eating Out Loud by Top Chef Canada host Eden Grinshpan. Tomorrow, we’ll feature an interview with the author.

To try another recipe from the book, check out: Roasted cauliflower with date-parsley gremolata , and cracked freekeh with pomegranate, walnuts and mint .

A virtual or pared-down Thanksgiving celebration calls for a more modestly sized bird. No matter whether you’re serving chicken, capon or turkey this year, it would benefit from Eden Grinshpan’s baharat-lathered, whole-roasted treatment.

Typically used as a marinade or finishing touch, baharat is Arabic for “spice.” The recipe varies by region, and Grinshpan’s version incorporates cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander and cumin.

“I love baharat — I think it’s a beautiful spice blend,” says Grinshpan. “I actually used it in one of my chicken dishes at DEZ (her now-closed NYC restaurant) and it was incredibly popular. But I used it on a thigh and would grill it, so I thought to myself, ‘Wouldn’t this be just magical on an entire chicken roasted.’”

Sweet potatoes, garlic, and shallots “that get super jammy and sweet” fill in for a roasting rack, and benefit from catching all the drippings. Grinshpan serves the roasted chicken and vegetables with a relish on the side, which is simply finely chopped preserved lemon rind and olive oil. (She includes a recipe for preserved lemons in the book, which requires at least two weeks’ lead time, or you can try a quick version in a pinch.)

“The preserved lemon keeps things so light and bright, and citrusy, but in a deep lemony way,” she says. “It’s just such a gorgeous component. I love a pickly preserved element — especially when you have a juicy, meaty, rich dish. It complements the chicken so well.”

BAHARAT WHOLE-ROASTED CHICKEN WITH SHALLOTS, PRESERVED LEMON AND SWEET POTATOES

1 whole chicken (3 to 4 lbs/1.4 to 1.8 kg)
3/4 cup (175 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp (22 mL) baharat spice blend, store-bought or homemade (see note)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean, cut lengthwise into 1-inch (2.5-cm) wedges
6 shallots, halved lengthwise
1 head of garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled
1 preserved lemon rind, store-bought or homemade, rinsed and finely chopped

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).

Step 2

Slide your fingers beneath the skin of the chicken to gently separate it from the meat. Pour 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the olive oil over the chicken, rubbing it under the skin and all over the outside of the bird. Season with the baharat, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper (really make sure to cover every bit of the chicken).

Step 3

In a roasting pan, toss the sweet potatoes, shallots and garlic with another 1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Set the chicken breast-side up on top of the vegetables. Roast until the chicken is crisp and golden, the juices run clear when it’s pierced and a meat thermometer inserted in a thigh reads 165°F (74°C), about 1 hour. Carefully remove the chicken from the pan and tent it with foil. Let it rest while you finish the vegetables.

Step 4

Return the pan with the vegetables to the oven and roast for another 5 minutes. Peel the garlic and discard the skins. Return the roasted cloves to the pan.

Step 5

In a small bowl, mix together the chopped lemon rind and the remaining 1/4 cup (50 mL) of olive oil. (If you want to make this a creamier condiment, you could also blend it in a blender.)

Step 6

Carve the chicken (using a very sharp knife) and arrange the pieces on a serving platter. Or, if you’re too nervous to carve, just place the chicken on a platter and bring it out for your guests to have at it. Serve the chicken surrounded with the roasted vegetables and drizzled with the preserved lemon oil.

Serves: 4

Notes: Arabic for “spice,” baharat is basically an all-purpose blend that covers your ass in the flavour department. It’s a one-and-done kinda deal with warm and savoury notes from spices like cumin, cinnamon, coriander and cloves. Each region has its own variation, so I highly recommend finding a version that you love.

If you can’t find this at the store, just mix together 1/4 cup toasted coriander seeds, ground; 2 tablespoons toasted cumin seeds, ground; 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 2 teaspoons ground cloves; 2 teaspoons ground black peppercorns; 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom; and 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Excerpted from Eating Out Loud by Eden Grinshpan. Copyright © 2020 by Eden Grinshpan. Photography by Aubrie Pick. Published in Penguin hardcover by Penguin Canada, 2020. Simultaneously published in the United States by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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