The evening before I was to teach my first cooking class, I met two French friends for dinner at a Paris bistro. ‘What’s on your teaching menu for tomorrow?’ they asked, and when I replied, ‘Roast chicken,’ they burst out laughing. ‘Everyone already knows how to make roast chicken,’ they smirked, with more than a hint of gallic superiority. ‘Ah, yes, mes amies,’ I replied, ‘but there is more than one way to roast a chicken.’ In this recipe, the chicken is coated with a sauce made of olive oil, cumin and cinnamon before going into the oven. The mouth-watering result will be evident just 15 minutes into the roasting process as irresistible aromas begin wafting through your kitchen.
Poulet rôti épicé / Roast chicken with spices
As I learned when I put on my apron to teach that first class, roast chicken had not been such a bad choice after all. Before we even started with the bird, my students peppered me with questions: What’s the difference between a free-range chicken and an organic chicken? Why are some chickens white and some yellow? The answers, to the best of my knowledge: Free-range birds have access to outdoors, although how much access varies from region to region. Organic chickens are generally free-range and also receive pesticide-free, organic feed and are certified free of antibiotics and hormones. As for the color, white chickens are fed with wheat and yellow chickens with corn — at least in France. Happy cooking!