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Marrakech on a plate: aromatic roast chicken, as cooked by the pioneer of Mediterranean cuisine

When everything outside is gray in gray again, there's only one thing to do - get some sun yourself. This Mediterranean dish will transport you to Marrakech and banish your wanderlust.

Mediterranean cuisine - Marrakech on a plate: aromatic roast chicken, as cooked by the pioneer of Mediterranean cuisine

Sometimes it just has to be a plate of vacation. A dish that tastes of sun and sea, that warms you up from the inside. Claudia Roden is an expert when it comes to conjuring up the flavors of the Mediterranean on your plate. She has travelled the world for decades researching the DNA of Mediterranean dishes and internalizing it.

One of her feel-good recipes is oven-baked chicken with olives and lemon. In it, she captures the flair of Marrakech with the aromas of garlic, turmeric and ginger. A dish that doesn't require many ingredients and is child's play to make.

Mediterranean oven chicken (serves 8)

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 11⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 11⁄2 tsp ground ginger
  • 11⁄2 tbsp honey
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 garlic bulb, cloves chopped
  • 16 chicken thighs
  • 120 g capers in brine, drained
  • 200 g pitted green olives
  • 1 large (or 2 small) cooked organic lemons, cut into pieces, seeds removed
  • 1 bunch of coriander greens (25 g), leaves chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan oven.

Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric, ginger, honey, wine, salt and pepper well in a large bowl. Add the garlic and turn the chicken pieces in the mixture so that they are well coated.

Place the chicken thighs on a large baking tray, add the capers, olives and cooked lemon and pour over the marinade from the bowl.

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until the chicken is well browned and cooked. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.


Add the frozen artichoke bottoms to the olives and capers in the dish. You can buy them in oriental food stores or online.

Cooked lemons

Place whole organic lemons in a saucepan and cover with water. Place a lid on the lemons that is smaller than the pot so that the lemons are pressed under the water. Cook for about 30 minutes until they are very soft and you can squeeze them. If not using immediately, drain and leave to cool. Place whole in a screw-top jar and cover with olive or sunflower oil. They will keep for several weeks in the fridge. They can be cut into pieces or pureed.

Basic couscous recipe

For 8 people, place 500g couscous in a large casserole dish. Dissolve 1⁄2-1 tsp salt in 600ml warm water (half boiling, half cold) and gradually pour over the couscous while stirring so that it is evenly covered. Leave to soak for 10 minutes, stirring a few times, then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and rub the grains between your hands to give them air and prevent them from clumping. Cover the tin with aluminum foil and place it under the tray with the chicken. Cook with the chicken for the last 10-15 minutes.

The recipe is from the new cookbook "Mittelmeerküche" by Claudia Roden, published by Dorling Kindersley Verlag, 320 pages, 29.95 euros.

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