1/1 Photo of Djedj Mechoui (Algerian Poulet Roti/Roast Chicken)
1 hr 40 mins
Chef Kate's Note:
This recipe comes from Farid Zari, who adapted his traditional way of spit roasting chicken to roasting it in his Los Angeles oven. He advises that the spices are a matter of personal taste--use what you like. He says the method does approximate the really crispy skin that he remembers from Algeria, but stresses that the quality of the chicken makes a huge difference, saying that at home in Algeria all the chickens were organic, free range and very fresh, and suggests that a soak in a salt water bath overnight would improve a run-of-the-mill supermarket chicken. Interestingly this cooking method follows the basic French method for roasting a bird -- and, after all, there is some cross-cultural history there.
My Private Note
Units: US | Metric
- 1 (3 -4 lb) roasting chickens
- 2 lemons, halved
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon seasoning, mixed (she recommends a mixture of sumac, sesame, cumin, coriander and fennel seeds, ground)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
- coarse salt
- fresh ground pepper
- olive oil
- 3 -4 sprigs thyme
- 1Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
- 2Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and slide your fingers under the skin of the breast and thighs to loosen/separate it from the flesh.
- 3Mash the garlic with the salt, using a fork or a mortar and pestle.
- 4Work the garlic/salt paste into the butter and then work in the spices; using your fingers, spread the spiced butter into the cavities between the skin and the flesh of the chicken.
- 5Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the chicken; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- 6Season the cavity with salt and pepper and place the four lemon halves and the thyme inside.
- 7Roast the chicken breast side down for 15 minutes.
- 8Turn the chicken breast side up and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- 9Baste frequently, using additional water and olive oil as needed.
- 10If the skin begins to brown too soon, cover with foil (but remove the foil about 15 minutes before the roasting time is up).
- 11The chicken should be done in about 90 minutes; the skin between the breasts and the legs should become almost transparent, the legs should move easily in the socket, and any juices should be clear.
- 12Let rest before carving.
- 13Strain excess fat out of the cooking juices and squeeze in some lemon juice for a lovely flavor.
- 14Note: Zari suggests serving with orange salads dressed with pomegranate vinaigrette and carrot salads dressed with lemon, cumin and olive oil.
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Nutritional Facts for Djedj Mechoui (Algerian Poulet Roti/Roast Chicken)
Serving Size: 1 (181 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 4
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 562.1
- Calories from Fat 392
- Total Fat 43.5 g
- Saturated Fat 15.4 g
- Cholesterol 183.3 mg
- Sodium 2767.6 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 3.3 g
- Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
- Sugars 0.7 g
- Protein 38.1 g
The following items or measurements are not included: