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From Flavors of the Sun: Moroccan Marinated Chicken Breasts

From Flavors of the Sun: Moroccan Marinated Chicken Breasts

Grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook and I extend the grilling season for as long as I can. Early fall might even be the best time for outdoor cooking! This recipe is yet another example of how the rich blend of spices in ras el hanout can give a simple preparation depth and nuance with very little effort. Marinating chicken in yogurt tenderizes the meat and keeps it juicy as it grills. Serve this with a room-temperature grain dish, like the Millet Pilaf with Almonds and Feta, and a cooling salad of Persian cucumbers.

This recipe is in the Spiced chapter of Flavors of the Sun. The book is divided into five chapters: Bright, Savory, Spiced, Nutty, and Sweet so you can shortcut to exactly what you're craving. You can order your copy now from wherever books are sold.

SERVES 4 

1/2 cup [120 g] plain Greek yogurt, full or reduced fat 

1 Tbsp ras el hanout 

1 tsp fine sea salt 

1 tsp hot paprika 

1 tsp hot red pepper flakes 

4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves 

Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, ras el hanout, salt, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Add the chicken and turn to coat thoroughly with the seasonings. Cover the bowl and marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. When hot, mound most of the coals to one side. Place the chicken breasts over the hottest part of the fire, skin side down, and cook until the skin has developed a bit of char and the fat has rendered. Turn the breasts skinside up, move to the cooler side of the grill, and cover the grill. Cook the chicken, turning once or twice, until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you can prepare this in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C] and arrange the chicken in a baking dish large enough to hold them without touching. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Garnish with the chopped cilantro. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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