Berbere spice is an aromatic and flavorful spice blend from Ethiopia that I love to cook with. You can add it to anything; meats, vegetables, rice, lentils, etc. It was so good I bought some immediately after trying it for the first time. Berbere is available online, specialty food markets, spice stores or you can make your own. I’m not that ambitious (yet!) so have my trusty jar.
I roast a chicken every other week because it provides so many meals beyond a single chicken dinner. I had the butcher remove the backbone on this one which I will save to make stock later.
This recipe is inspired by Thomas Keller’s basic roasted chicken which is my absolute favorite. I really do think having the chicken be dry and salted makes for crispier and tighter skin with a moist center. Unlike Mr. Keller, I do introduce some herbs and lemons which add steam, but I think the flavors are worth it.
Berbere Spiced Chicken – Makes 4-6 servings
1 – 3 l b- 4 lb whole chicken with the back removed (preferably not packed in a water solution)
1 1/2 tsp Berbere spice
2 tsp salt
1/2 lemon cut in quarters
1 bunch of parsley
Preheat your oven to 425°. Lay the chicken on a cutting board and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle and rub in all the Berbere spice and half of the salt on all sides. In a cast iron pan, shallow baking dish or baking sheet, place the parsley in the middle and rest the chicken (breast up) on top. Arrange the lemon wedges around the chicken. Roast for 45 or 50 minutes or until done. Baste with some of the juices and place on a cutting board to rest for 10-15 minutes (if you can wait that long). Slice it up, sprinkle a little more salt on top and enjoy!