My in-laws finally sold the house they grew up in. My mother in-law lived there for 50 years and threw many a cocktail party, Easter egg hunt, Christmas breakfasts, countless dinners – replete with cod fish balls and other specialties.
We paid homage to the unique property (that used to be surrounded by wheat fields but is now McMansion land) with a lunch and egg hunt under the enormous cottonwood trees my father in-law planted back in the 60's.
The main entree was a wonderful Morroccan-inspired cold grilled chicken dish with roasted red peppers and caramelized onions. We served it alongside Kimberly's carrot salad, a green bean salad with walnuts and a fresh garden salad. Kimberly's corn salad would also be delcious with this dish. Perfect for an Indian summer al fresco feast.
Morrocan Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper and Caramlized Onions
Serve 15 to 20 depending on how many side dishes you have.
5 Lbs. onions, sliced thinly and caramelized
3 large red bell peppers, roasted on a grill, peeled and sliced
Marinade for the chicken:
12 lbs Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
Zest and Juice from 2 oranges and 2 lemons
1/4 cup prepared Harissa (or to your taste)
2 Tbsp. granulated garlic
2 Tbsp. freshly ground coriander seeds
1 Tbsp. freshly toasted and ground cumin seeds
salt and pepper
1/2 cup honey or agave
Place all ingredients together in a zip lock bag and add the chicken. Close the bag and massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate over night. 1 hour before you grill the chicken, remove the bag from the refrigerator and place the contents onto a large platter. Cover lightly and allow to come to room temperature. Grilling, roasting or searing any meat a room temperature is always best.
Light or heat your grill. Once it's piping hot, either spread out the coals or lower the heat to medium. Grill the chicken until done then place onto another clean platter. I grilled my peppers while I did the chicken. Make sure save all the juices which will be on the bottom of the platter once the chicken is cool enough to handle.
For the Garnish:
2 preserved lemons, diced (They sell these now in the olive bar at Whole Foods and they are really good.)
freshly chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper
To Serve: Place the onions on the bottom of a large platter. Once the chicken is cool, slice thinly on the diagonal and arrange right on top of the onions. Now slice the roasted and peeled bell peppers into long slivers and ring it around the chicken. Sprinkle the garnish on top. Just before serving, pour the reserved chicken juices over the top. If you like you can toss all of this together but I prefer the presentation of the layers of food.