Moroccan Chicken with Cauliflower Pilaf

Moroccan Chicken with Cauliflower Pilaf

What makes Moroccan dishes so distinctive are the aromatic spices and preserved lemon, an underutilized ingredient. You can buy preserved lemons in specialty food stores but if you'd like to go the extra mile and make your own, Bon Appetit has a great Preserved Lemon recipe. Preserving lemons in salt gives the lemon peel (most recipes only use the peel) a more mellow flavor that melds so well with the chicken drumsticks. Homemade or store bought, you will enjoy the flavor the lemons impart in your chicken dish along with the spices, onion and vinegar. The Cauliflower Pilaf is a nice twist on a classic couscous or rice side too.


For the Chicken:
2 packages Grass Roots Chicken Drumsticks
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 large red onion; peeled and cut into wedges

For the Cauliflower Pilaf:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion; peeled and diced
2 tbsp fresh ginger; peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic; peeled and minced
tsp ground coriander
tsp ground cumin
2 tsp cinnamon
tsp kosher salt
1 cup chicken stock
2 heads cauliflower, riced
2 cans chickpeas; drained and rinsed, 15 oz. each
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 preserved lemon, peel only, half sliced into fine threads, half sliced into wedges


For the Chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, cumin, ginger, paprika, salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar.
  3. Add the chicken and red onion and toss well to coat.
  4. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and cook for about 50 minutes or until completely cooked through.  

For the Cauliflower Pilaf:

  1. When the chicken has about 15 minutes left to cook, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 4 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and continue to cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Add coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and salt, and stir to incorporate.
  4. Pour in the stock and bring to boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low and add in the cauliflower and chickpeas and cook until warmed through, stirring occasionally, about 5 more minutes.
  6. Add the cilantro, parsley, and lemon threads and stir to combine. Transfer the cauliflower pilaf to a serving platter and top with the cooked chicken and onions.
  7. Garnish with the remaining lemon peel wedges and serve.