'Ras El Hanout' Roasted Chicken

Immerse yourself in the world of spices and make your own 'top of the shop' blend of spices!  Delicious with roasted chicken as we've done here, but keep this blend nearby for everything from roasted vegetables, grilled shrimp or a nutty rice pilaf.   

This spice blend will make more than you need for our recipe below for 4 chicken thighs.  

Serve this with the fastest side dish around: couscous!  Add equal parts boiling water to couscous in a heat proof bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, and season with salt and butter before serving.   

4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or leg quarters
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt, liberal amount for seasoning the chicken
2 tbsp. Ras El Hanout (see below)

Ras el Hanout:  “Head of the Shop” Moroccan Spice Blend for Tagine, Stews etc.

2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
1 ¼ tsp ground nutmeg 
1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
1 ¼ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground cloves

  • Blend all spices together and use as required


  1. Season chicken well all over with lemon juice, salt and ras el hanout spice mixture—this can be done 24 hours in advance
  2. Pre-heat oven to 425°F
  3. Place chicken pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet or roasting dish.   
  4. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until skin is dark and crisp.   
  5. Serve Chicken with couscous or rice and with any collected juices.   We like to serve with extra lemon, green olives, chopped fresh parsley and a fresh green salad.  

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Mujadara (Middle Eastern Rice with Fried Onions)

What is Mujadara? A dish of lentils and rice garnished with onions. Take the time to transform the humble onion into a crowning glory on this lentil-rice dish.   Delicious even just with rice, but the super combo of lentils & rice give us a complete protein.   Warm spices with the rice are highly addictive.   Give it the gourmet feel with a drizzle of good quality tahini blended with a little warm water and crushed garlic, or a good scoop of plain yogurt.   

Ingredients for Mujadara

1 cup green or brown lentils, cooked until al dente, or 1 can of lentils 
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp flour
oil for frying

1 tsp. each cumin seeds and coriander seeds
¾ cup basmati rice (we love this Tilda brand) 
½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Yogurt for drizzling (or Tahini Sauce), optional 

 How to make Mujadara

  1. In a large frying pan with a lid, heat enough olive to cover the bottom of the pan
  2. Toss onions with flour and then fry in the oil, in batches, until golden brown and crisp;  remove to a paper-towel lined plate and lightly salt.  
  3. In the same pan, add cumin and coriander seeds; fry briefly before adding basmati rice, turmeric, allspice and cinnamon.  Fry for one minute and then add 1 ¼ cup water.  Stir in lentils. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer, cover, and turn heat to lowest setting
  5. Cook 15 minutes, then turn heat off and allow to sit for five minutes.  Serve with onions on top, garnished with yogurt or tahini!  

 Looking for more Middle Eastern Influence?  Click HERE for our Shawarma At Home class!  

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One taste for shakshuka and you'll be coming back for more!  This is our go-to fridge breakfast, lunch or dinner, our hangover cure, our meal on a dime!   For us the perfect ratio is 3 eggs.   We've garnished with cilantro too, or nothing at all.  MAKE AHEAD: Sauce can be made in full. Re-warm in frying pan and continue by adding in eggs, making it a fantastic brunch option.   

4 tbsp. (or as needed) olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Cumin
1⁄4 tsp. crushed red chilli flakes
1 cup canned tomatoes and their juices
4-6 large eggs
5-6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
5-6 sprigs fresh dill
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, as needed
Bread, for serving

  1. Thinly slice onion
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Add olive oil, followed by onions. Season with salt, stir and allow to caramelise over medium-low heat, about 10 minutes or longer.
  4. Slice peppers, garlic & herbs.
  5. Add in peppers once onions have gained some colour and continue to cook a further 5 minutes, until softened.
  6. Add in garlic and spices and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add in canned tomatoes and simmer until concentrated, 1-2 minutes.  
  8. Reduce heat to medium low, and, using a spatula, create some space in the pan for the eggs, 4-6 wells.
  9. Add a little olive oil in each well, crack in your eggs and allow to cook until whites are opaque, about 5-6 minutes.  You may want to pop a lid on to get the whites cooked though, or use a spatula to 'scrape' any raw white into the sauce.  
  10. Using a spatula, serve up shakshuka on warm plates, garnished with chopped herb and served with warm bread.

If warm spices and one-pot meals are right up your alley, check out our full African Influence cooking class here!  One of the best bean dishes we've ever had, plus a unique take on beef stew.  Perfect for a chilly weeknight!  

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Spice Roasted Fish Tacos

Spice Roasted Fish Tacos 
Makes 8 tacos, can be doubled! 

 Oh how we love this recipe!   If you have 30 minutes you can make these incredibly impressive tacos.   Hydrating the spices first in water & oil to make a paste blooms their flavour compounds, more so than just sprinkling the spices on dry.  

Just two toppings are necessary for these tacos, a fresh cucumber salsa and a slick of lime mayo.   

Recipe testing proved that flour tortillas were far superior for these tacos, as opposed to corn tortillas.   Be sure to warm them up in the oven, or 30 seconds a side in a dry frying pan. 


1 tsp. smoked paprika
1⁄2 tsp. ground coriander
1⁄4 tsp. each turmeric, black pepper & chilli powder 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. boiling water
1 tbsp. neutral oil
3⁄4 lb Newfoundland Cod, cut into 8 strips

1⁄2 English cucumber, seeds removed and diced
Juice of 1 large lime (hold a little back for the mayo)
1⁄4 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

juice of 1⁄4 lime
pinch of salt
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
8 flour Tortillas

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. In a small, heat-proof dish mix together all of the ground spices. Stir in boiling water and allow to hydrate for about a minute before stirring in oil
  3.  Place the cod strips on a parchment-lined baking sheet; season well with salt and then drizzle the spice mixture all over the pieces. Set aside for 5 minutes while you make the salsa and mayo
  4. Mix together diced cucumber with salt. Stir in lime juice and cilantro
  5. For the mayo, simply mix together lime juice, salt and mayo 6. Bake cod for 7-8 minutes, until it just begins to flake
  6. Warm tortilla shells in the oven for 30 seconds and then assemble tacos!
  7. Warm tortilla, lime mayo, cod and cucumber salsa-enjoy!

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