A Valentine’s Dinner

I hope you all had a very good Valentine’s Day with the one or ones you love.  We tend to stay home and celebrate at home rather than go out and do the traditional Valentine celebrations.  I don’t buy or get flowers on Valentine’s Day because my birthday is literally just the week before and the flowers are 1/2 the price if I get them on the 7th rather than on the 14th.  I don’t need chocolates, I am already way too fat as it is.  And I can cook just about everything we would get in a restaurant, and usually better.  So, we stay home and I cook something special for us here at home.  Or sweetheart meal was Moroccan spiced roasted chicken over couscous and roasted vegetables.  It was warm and exotic, with a slightly spicy accent, that was loaded with deliciousness.    Because this was a tomato and spiced sauce, I served it with a smooth red which made them perfect dinner companions.

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Moroccan Spiced Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

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1 chicken cut into parts, or  4 Cornish game hens cut in 1/2

1 1/2 TBSP salt

2 TBSP garlic

1/4 honey

1/4 cup lemon juice

2-3 TBSP olive oil

2 TBSP paprika

4 tsp cumin

2 tsp ginger

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 TBSP za’taar – optional

1 tsp black pepper

2 zucchini, sliced

1 yellow squash or crookneck, sliced

1 parsnip, peeled and sliced

1 onion, medium dice

1 red or orange bell pepper, medium dice

4 medium tomatoes, medium dice – I used heirlooms this time.  I just love heirloom tomatoes.

1 can chicken broth

2 TBSP each, fresh mint, fresh parsley, and fresh cilantro, chopped fine

 

Preheat the oven to 425*F.

Line a deep roasting pan with aluminum foil.

Mix all the spices, honey, lemon juice and olive oil together.  Toss the vegetables in with the spice mixture, then remove them from the sauce and spread them evenly over the bottom of the roasting pan.

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Coat the chicken with the sauce and place the chicken pieces over the vegetables and pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and vegetables.  Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven to roast for one hour.  Remove the foil covering, and baste the chicken with the liquid.  Place the pan back into the oven, uncovered, and continue to roast for another 30 minutes or until the chicken is browned and the vegetables are tender.  Baste again as needed.

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While the chicken is cooking during the 2nd phase, cook some couscous and heat up either some naan bread or pitas.  When the chicken is done, serve it over the couscous and top with the vegetables and juice.  Garnish with the chopped herbs.  The end result …. pure heaven.  The chicken is so moist and tender and the vegetables just melt in your mouth.  This is one sweetheart of a meal to share with all those you love.

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Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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