Messy Moroccan Chicken & Veg

Messy Moroccan Chicken & Veg



1 5-6lb. chicken
3 tbsp sweet paprika
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp red pepper flakes
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
1 lemon (juiced and zested)
1 lemon (cut into 4 wedges)
5 tbsp olive oil
4 sweet potatoes (cut into wedges)
1 cauliflower (cut into florets)
1 red onion (cut into 8 wedges)

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a heavy, large rimmed baking sheet. 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 pockets. Rub 1 tablespoon salt all over the chicken and in the main cavity. Sprinkle generously with black pepper. Tie the legs together if desired.

In small bowl, mix the paprika, cumin, pepper flakes, and cinnamon. Set aside 2 1/2 teaspoons of the spice mixture for the vegetables. Gradually mix in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest to make a paste. Spread a little of the paste inside the main cavity and under the skin over the breasts. Rub the rest of the paste all over the outside of the chicken. Place the lemon wedges into the cavity.

Place the chicken in the center of the prepared pan. Place the chicken in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile 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 toss to coat.

After the chicken has roasted for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven. Tilt the sheet pan and spoon off most of the fat. Arrange the chicken in the center of the pan and spoon the vegetables around the bird. 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, about 40 minutes. (Note: the bird will take longer to roast if the legs have been tied together.) If the skin is getting too dark, reduce the temperature to 425°F.

Transfer the chicken to a warmed decorative pan or platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve right away with the vegetables.