It will take another day or two, to digest the countless “wow” moments I had during my trip to Marrakech. After a short flight from my base in St. Tropez / Nice my senses were on overload.
I always enjoyed Moroccan food, the subtle combination of savory, sweet and spicy ingredients. Unfortunately lots of ethnic restaurants in my area are missing the love and creativity in the food. Mostly they do a great job in decorating and creating a Riad atmosphere, but as a chef I always want to be impressed by the menu.
I’ve played around with some recipes from a Persian cookbook lately. The cuisine is very similar but some of the dishes I’ve tried in Marrakech are on an another level.
Of course, everybody had a great Tajine or Cous Cous. The slow cooked stews with lamb / goat, or fish or wholesome vegetables. But there is another approach to it. Refined salads or Pastillas always had those impressive layers of spices, saffron, citrus, dried fruits, nuts etc.
The local markets are simple. Only foreigner hotels are importing produce and animal products. But what you see is local, in season and fresh! I always say, everybody can cook well when you have access to pretty baby vegetables, truffle, foie gras and exotic fruits.
Here are a few impressions from wandering the streets of Marrakech.
You will see a few dishes soon that are inspired by Moroccan cuisine. But on the plane home, I was craving something simple and comforting. So the next day I was planning to make good old fried chicken!
But I couldn’t help it and added a little twist to it. First I replaced normal boring white flour with a mix of chickpea and gluten free flour. The marinade is made with lactose free sheep milk yogurt.
But the slaw has a whole different approach then the classic. I’ve used toasted sesame oil, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, agave and cinnamon! Again, just by adding some of those healthy and tasty flavors, the slaw transformed to an amazing side dish.
Thanks for reading and enjoy!
Fried Chicken with Chickpea Flour and Sesame Turmeric Slaw
- 1 Organic chicken, divided in 12 pieces (legs, wings, breast)
- 1 cup sheeps milk yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ lemon zest of
- ½ lemon juice of
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups gluten free flour, Schaer or Cup4Cup
- 1 ½ cups chick pea flour
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- Oil for deep frying
- Fleur de sel, lemon wedges, rosemary and thyme sprigs for garnish
Sesame Turmeric Slaw
- 4-5 large carrots, julienned with a Japanese mandoline
- ½ head cabbage, julienned
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- White and black sesame seeds
- Chopped chives
Combine the yogurt, garlic, lemon zest and juice, white wine, olive oil, thyme leaves, salt and pepper in a blender and puree until smooth.
Toss the chicken pieces with the marinade and let sit for minimum one hour.
In a large bowl combine the two flours, garlic and onion powder, cayenne, salt and pepper until no lumps remain.
Preheat a deep fryer or a large pot with oil to 160C / 320F.
Take one chicken piece at the time, with some marinade still sticking to it and dredge trough the flour mixture, tap away excess flour.
Deep fry the pieces until golden, about 8 – 10 mins until cooked trough and crispy.
Garnish with the herbs, fleur de sel and serve with lemon wedges.
2.Slaw: In a large bowl combine the julienned carrots and cabbage with the rice vinegar, sesame oil, agave, salt, pepper, cayenne and cinnamon.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Let the slaw marinate for at least 30 mins.
Garnish with the sesame seeds and chives.