Another glorious autumn day in March, the warm and languid days more like an Indian summer. I was at Palm Beach, visiting the Architect to celebrate the birthday of the Delegator. I am always in for a treat on a Palm Beach visit – not only a lovely view but always scrumptious food.
The Architect had made his famous orange and almond cake, always delicious, but the real surprise was that the Delegator himself had made a beautiful chicken dish based on that wonderful spice concoction, chermoula paste. It was unctuous and fragrant, and accompanied by couscous, grilled asparagus, vine ripened tomatoes and a little aoli, made a lovely lunch dish.
The Delegator used Christine Manfield’s Chermoula Paste available from specialty grocers such as Simon Johnson in Australia. It’s not that difficult to make your own, if you can’t access this paste or similar.
Here is my rough approximation of the recipe as told to me by the Delegator.
12 chicken thighs fillets, skin on or off, depending on your personal preference
1 tbls of Chris Mansfield Chermoula Paste or see here for a link to a Neil Perry recipe
1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 lemon halves
A few sprigs of lemon thyme
Sea salt and ground black pepper to season
A dozen slices of prosciutto
Marinate the chicken thigh fillets in a large bowl with the Chermoula Paste, olive oil and the juice of the lemon. Leave for a few hours or preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Remove the chicken mixture and place in an ovenproof baking dish. Add the 3 cut lemon halves and lemon thyme to the mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Finish by layering the prosciutto slices on the top. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
The chicken will give up a lot of juice, along with the lemons, so it’s great to serve this chicken dish with couscous or rice, or even crusty bread.
Well done to the Delegator for his inventive and delicious dish!