[Photograph: Richard Learoyd

This Moroccan-inspired roast chicken is one of the simplest in Yotom Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's Ottolenghi cookbook, and it is also one of the most memorable. Process-wise, it is dead simple: marinate the chicken, stick it in the oven, glaze, and serve. The warm spices, honey, and rose water give the quartered chicken a floral perfume while the rendered schmaltz and hazelnuts ground the scent, keeping it from veering into potpourri territory. A few pieces of scallion add a final green flourish.

Why I picked this recipe: I was too intrigued by the combination of chicken and rose water to pass this one up.

What worked: Everything about this easy entrée worked great. The final dish looked quite beautiful—perfect for a dinner party or holiday entertaining.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: You could use almonds or perhaps pine nuts instead of the hazelnuts if you want to switch things up. If you use pine nuts, you probably won't need to pre-toast them. You can find rose water in Middle Eastern grocery stores. You could easily double this recipe if you want to serve a crowd.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Ottolenghi to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.


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