Middle Eastern Birthday Feast: Roast Chicken

I look for any reason to create Middle Eastern dishes. Of course this has everything to do with the time I spent in Saudi growing up. I might even go so far as to say I prefer it to “soul food” – but let’s keep that as our little secret.

Yesterday was my chance to celebrate my cousin’s birthday by preparing a nice Mid Eastern spice rub on a free range chicken, some cranberry orange Israeli couscous, and roasted veggies. As you can see by the photo, this meal was literally thrown onto the platter because somebody, who shall be nameless, was claiming their blood sugar was dropping and I needed to hurry up and cut the damn bird. Like this low carb meal was gonna keep them from passing out and going into a diabetic coma right there on my kitchen floor. Anyway, it was sooo good. So pull out your mortar and pestle, and give it a try.

Toast 2 Tbs. each whole fennel seeds and whole cumin seeds in a skillet for a minute or so, until aromatic. Grind in your mortar and pestle.
Add 1 t. each garlic powder, onion powder, tumeric, and salt to taste, then grind until well blended.

Rub your bird with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice. Add some lemon zest (the zest of 1 lemon is plenty) to the spices and rub it all over the bird. If you place the bird on a roasting rack you can avoid all of the fatty drippings. Or you can place the bird directly in the pan and enjoy the juicy flavorful drippings – your choice. Set your oven to 450 and roast that lovely bird for about 45 minutes, or until your thermometer reads no less than 165. Enjoy!

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