Moroccan-Spiced Roast Chicken Recipe

 IMG_1143My mother-in-law gives Jamie & I a new cookbook (or three) every year during beach week as our anniversary gift.  I hate purchasing cookbooks when I know I can usually get the recipe for free online, but their is something so nice about having a book with pictures to follow out in front of you as you cook.  She purchased Weeknight Fresh & Fast (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, Healthy Meals for Every Night of the Week for us this year.  LOVE IT!  It has a meal for every week of the year and divides the recipes into Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

I tried a fall dish last night because I am over these 100 degree days.  The Moroccan Baked Chicken has a little kick to it but O gobbled it all up!

IMG_1145Moroccan-Spiced Roast Chicken Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • One whole (4 to 5 pounds) chicken
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 smallish lemon
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet
  • 2 small (about 3/4 pounds total) orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 pound cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges

Directions

1. Preparation: Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Oil a heavy large rimmed baking sheet.

2. In a small bowl, mix the paprika, cumin, pepper flakes, and cinnamon. Set aside 2 1/2 teaspoons of the spice mixture for the vegetables. The rest is for the chicken. Finely grate the zest from the lemon, cut the lemon into quarters, and mix the zest into the spices for the chicken. Gradually mix in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to make a paste.

3. Pull out and discard the fat and giblets from the cavity of the chicken. Pat the chicken very dry with paper towels. Starting at the edge of the main cavity, slide a finger under the skin over each breast half, making a pocket between the skin and meat. Rub a total of 1 tablespoon of salt over the chicken skin and toss a little salt inside the cavity. Sprinkle the chicken generously with black pepper.

3. Spread a little of the seasoning paste inside the cavity, slather some of it under the skin over the chicken breasts, and rub the rest of the paste all over the outside of the chicken. Toss the lemon quarters inside the cavity. Place the bird in the center of the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, cut the sweet potatoes in half crosswise, and then quarter each half lengthwise to create wedges. Combine the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and onion in a bowl. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and toss to coat. Add the reserved spice mixture, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

5. After the chicken has roasted for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven. Tilt the sheet pan and spoon off most of the fat. Return the chicken to the center of the sheet and spoon the vegetables around it. Return the pan to the oven and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 165°F (74°C), about 40 minutes longer, depending on the size of the bird. If the skin is getting too dark before the meat is done, reduce the oven temperature to 425°F.

6. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve with the vegetables.

ENJOY!

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Family Beach Week 2014

Olivia got to go to her second family beach week this passed week.  We had so much fun!

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Milky Strong

IMG_0748We have add whole milk into O’d diet instead of just breastmilk and water.  She is loving it.  I really didn’t think she would transition so easily to whole milk after turning one.  It’s kind of sad to know that she could survive on cows milk now and not my milk.  It is even more sad knowing that she likes it so much.  I’m just waiting for the day to come where she wants cows milk and not mine.  *sigh*

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Attack of the Ivy

IMG_0598Well, while Olivia was sick with Croup, I have been battling a terrible poison ivy rash.  It started on my forehead and has traveled all over my body and limbs.  I went to the Urgent Care the morning after Olivia’s late night trip the ER and they gave me a steroid shot and a round of Prednisone.  I had a slight fever when I arrived due to my body having a bad reaction to the poison ivy.  As I walked to my car in the parking lot after the shot, I started to feel dizzy.  Once I turned my car on, I called Jamie to tell him I was on the way back to the house but I started to go silent.  I had to hang up the phone and call the Urgent Care to send nurses out to the parking lot to save me.  They said I was grey!  Not even white.  They had to pull me from my car and I had to stay on a gurney for hours.  UGH!  I don’t know if I had worked myself up from getting a shot or if I had a bad reaction.  I hate needles but I have not had any fainting spells since I got pregnant and had to become a pro.  I thought that if I could get an epidural, I could do ANY needle!

The rash kept getting worse through out the week even after the steroid shot and Prednisone prescription.  The rash was hot to the touch and I felt like I wanted to rip my skin off.  It kept spreading.  It was on my eyes, my neck, my abdomen, my legs… EVERYWHERE!  I went back to the Urgent Care and they had to give me another round of steroids and Prednisone at a higher dosage with a longer tapper.  Thankfully, they gave me the steroids in an oral form and not a shot.  I was already in tears when the doc told me I had to have another round on steroids.  Why they couldn’t have given me the steroids in oral form the first time is beyond me.  I had told the nurse I get faint with needles and that I have to lay down when I get shots.

The rash didn’t scare me as much as taking some pretty heavy medicine.  I was so nervous because Prednisone and breastfeeding are not great together.  Their isn’t a lot of research so it was hard to get clear answers.  Of course the Urgent Care doc had no clue about Prednisone and breastfeeding compatibility.  The Infant Risk Center Hotline and our Ped had to do some research and finally both came to the conclusion that I should wait 4 hours before breastfeeding after taking the Prednisone in the morning and that if I had to stay on the Prednisone for longer than a month, I would have to reevaluate breastfeeding.

The doctor also gave me an anti inflammatory that made me very drowsy.  My mom made the 5 hour trip as soon as she heard that I had passed out at the Urgent Care.  She helped out so much as I was battling my own bodies terrible reaction to the poison ivy and as Olivia recovered from Croup.  It is such a helpless feeling not being able to take care of your own baby because you yourself are sick.

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Got the Croup

IMG_0496I gave my first talk in our congregation tonight.  Olivia had a stuffy nose and one of her eyes wouldn’t stop tearing up so Jamie stayed home with her.  Once I got home, he informed me that she had thrown up but she was acting fine so I nursed her to sleep with no problem.  About an hour later while we were watching TV in the other room, I heard what I thought was O coughing.  I ran in and it was her wheezing and having really labored breathing.  She also felt warm so I called the nurse line immediately.  Our first trip to the ER and MRI confirmed Croup.  One dose of steroids and my little O was back to normal playing.

Seeing her having such a hard time breathing with so scary.  She only had the “bark cough” while we were at the ER and it went away right after the steroid dose.  It was also the first fever O has had.  I am so thankful that we at least made it a whole year before making a trip to the ER and O having any major health issues!

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