Chicken with Ras el Hanout, Olives, and Lemons
Here's a pop-it-in-the-oven-and-ignore-it dinner. It's flavorful and sophisticated, while being yummy and subtle. Which is to say that both the gourmets in your family and the ones with plainer palates will enjoy it.
1 4-6 pound chicken
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
15 - 20 olives (I like a combination of oil-brined black and salt-brined green)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (1 large or two small)
1 lemon, zest and 1/2 the juice in one bowl, the other half of the juice in another
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove any giblets, necks, etc. from the cavity and pat the chicken dry. Salt inside and out. Mix the zest and juice with the garlic, shallots, olives, and 2 teaspoons of ras el hanout. Either place this mixture in the cavity or place half in the cavity and the other half under the skin. Rub the chicken with about half of the olive oil and sprinkle all over with the remaining tablespoon of ras el hanout. Truss, if you feel like it, place the chicken breast down in a roasting dish, and pop into the oven.
Let the chicken cook until a instant read thermometer tells you that the flesh of the thigh is 160 degrees. Remove and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve with rice or couscous and roasted vegetables.