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Roman Picnic in the ruined garden. inspired by ‘Apicius’ written 1,900 years ago.
Chicken Volubilis, Celery Custard, Saffron Chickpeas, Eggs with red wine, Apricots & Cumin
(since posting this last June I have simplified the recipe - now cook as below but the marinade is just olive oil, red grape juice, fish sauce, and wholegrain mustard - adding the fresh mint towards the end as below - still savoury and archaic in taste but a much simpler version)
1 rounded tsp celery seeds
1 rounded tsp parsley seeds
a handful of chopped fresh mint, tough stalks removed.
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 dessert spoon wholegrain mustard
500ml red grape juice.
1 whole chicken, anything from 1.8 to 2.5 kg is fine for the marinade quantities.
mix all ingredients, excluding the fresh mint.
slash the whole chicken, especially over the thick parts of the bird - over thighs and drumsticks cut to the bone.
rub the marinade all over, into the cuts as well as cavity, if the liver came with the chicken it can be chopped and cooked in the cavity of the bird.
leave to marinate for a few hours or put directly into the oven - gas mark 4 or on the low side of medium. cook for 1.5 to 2 hours. in a roasting tin or a pyrex dish. do not put in a tin that lifts the bird away from the cooking juices.
keep basting and keep an eye on the colour of the bird. The sugar in the grapejuice means the sauce can start to catch, if it does add a little water and keep basting.
20 minutes before the bird is done add the chopped mint and baste again.
the skin will not be very crispy, but the fat will have rendered from the skin and will be full of flavour.
the resulting taste is sharp, rich and fruity but not cloying and the sauce will be intense but not gluey.
the fish sauce adds a vital umami kick - no salt to be added to the sauce, the fish sauce is usually enough. the chicken can be served hot, warm or the following day at which point the sauce will have set.
Oud El-Mehrez - mid-summer, but in spate. Mehrez = Mortar, of pestle and mortar, there were many waterwheels in this city, for grinding and milling.
Anonymous asked: Hello there, I was wondering how many rooms you have to rent and how much they might cost? would love to come and visit with a friend of mine, neither of us have been to morroco and your beautiful place would be so inspiring for us both. Are there especially good times of the year to come, or those best to avoid? we are both working on a tight budget. Many thanks, liz
Dear Liz, It would be a pleasure to see you here, it is a fascinating, varied, ugly, beautiful, confusing & enlightening country - message me privately on email@example.com
Anonymous asked: HI Robert, I'm waiting for a rabbit tagine receipt! Daniel in New York
Will mail you direct - I am on firstname.lastname@example.org
Anonymous asked: Hi Robert we were eating with you last week with Gail. I ate you delicious chicken dish with mint. You mentioned that we could get the recipe on your website. I was wondering if you could let me have it as it was so good. Thank you. Jo Strand
Hello Jo - sorry it has been a while what is your e-mail and I will send recipe there. Kind regards Rob.
Anonymous asked: hi sure maddame pls can i have ure email adress i want to send u my cv pls thank u and have a nice day
Anonymous asked: Hi, got your adress from Amina Aguerznay. We (m/f) stay in Marocco from december 22th to january 5th (Casablanca Airport) and would like to spend some days in your riad. Do you rent? What are your conditions? Will be in Fez around 26th of dezember. Best from Vienna, Irma
It would be great to see you here - what is your private e-mail address? mine is email@example.com