Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables-6

Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Can you tell I’m a huge fan of roasted chickens?

I’ve got this recipe, and this recipe, and this recipe to show for it ūüėõ

And here we are again, with another delicious spin, this time with lots of veggies packed in.

Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables-3

Now, I’m sort of conflicted about whether or not to roast a chicken straight in the pan with the veggies.

On the one hand, it keeps the chicken tender and moist since it’s nestled amongst the produce…. but then it doesn’t get that lip-smacking ultra crispy skin around the outside.

But on the other hand, all the succulent juices seep out of the chicken and baste the vegetables, giving them way more flavor than normal.

After a bit of testing, I’ve come up with a pretty great solution.

Let the bird cook by itself for a little bit, on high heat, to develop a nice crispy skin.

THEN add the veggies, turn down the heat a bit, and let the chicken and vegetables finish cooking together.

This method = nice crispy skin on the top of the bird, but really tender, fall off the bone meat on the legs and thighs, along with tender and flavorful veggies.


Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables-4

As you might be aware, one of my goals for 2017 is to make an effort to serve my food sensitivity clients with my blog posts.

So, this Moroccan Roasted Chicken recipe is 100% LEAP-friendly.

It’s got chicken, leap-tested spices (paprika, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and black pepper), lemon, and leap-tested veggies (onion, cauliflower, and sweet potato). Add a little salt & your choice of cooking oil or fat, and you’re good to go.

And don’t worry if you have to omit the black pepper. You won’t even miss it with all the spice going on in this dish.

My goal is to show that even meals that are prepared with¬†relatively simple ingredients can be mouth watering and taste like a treat. There’s no need to suffer through bland food while in the midst of an elimination diet!

So, stay tuned for more creative LEAP-friendly recipes in the future.


Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables-6

Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables-6
Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 10 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4
  • 1 5-6 pound whole chicken (preferably pasture raised)
  • Kosher salt for seasoning
  • Ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 2.5 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon, the rest of the lemon cut into quarters
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (or other approved oil)
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
  • 1 extra large red onion, peeled, halved, and each half cut into fourths, lengthwise
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. Grease the interior bottom and sides of a large 4.5 quart baking dish (usually a Pyrex or glazed ceramic dish) with olive oil or another approved cooking fat.

  3. While the oven preheats, remove the chicken from its packaging, remove the giblets from the interior cavity and save for another use or discard. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then place it breast-up in the greased baking dish.

  4. Carefully slide your fingers underneath the skin on the breasts (starting from the bottom near the cavity), creating a pocket between the skin and actual chicken breast flesh. Wash your hands well with hot water and soap before moving on to the next step.

  5. Next, sprinkle the outside of the chicken well with kosher salt (about 1 tablespoon total) and ground black pepper. 

  6. In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, cumin, cayenne, and lemon zest. Spoon out 1 tablespoon of the spice rub mixture for the vegetables and set aside. 

  7. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the main spice rub mixture (NOT the 1 tablespoon you reserved) to create a paste, and rub it all over the chicken. Start with the pockets between the skin and chicken breasts, and then rub the rest over the entire outside of the chicken. If you have any left, you can rub it inside the chicken cavity too. 

  8. Finally, stuff the lemon quarters inside the chicken cavity, and place the whole baking dish in the oven to roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes. 

  9. While the chicken roasts, place the chopped sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Add the reserved spice mixture to the vegetables, and toss until evenly coated.

  10. When the chicken has roasted for 30 minutes, remove the baking dish from the oven and place on a stove-top or heat-proof surface. Carefully spoon the vegetables into the pan, surrounding the chicken entirely. Be careful not to accidentally touch the hot baking dish!

  11. When the vegetables are evenly nestled around the chicken, place the whole baking dish back in the oven, reduce the heat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and let cook for another 45 minutes. 

  12. When the 45 minutes are up, use a meat thermometer to verify that the thickest part of the thigh has reached at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If it has, then the chicken is done. If the chicken has not reached the proper temperature yet, continue roasting until it does. 

  13. When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving alongside the roasted vegetables and pan juices.

Veggie Packed Couscous with Lemon Oregano Chicken

Veggie Packed Couscous Salad with Lemon Oregano Chicken-4

Veggie Packed Couscous Salad with Lemon Oregano Chicken

One of the best parts about pilafs is how much good stuff you can pack into them, without the dish feeling overly heavy.

Simply cook a grain or starch, toss it with a whole bunch of veggies and herbs, drizzle with a flavorful dressing, and top with a protein of your choice.

Voila! You’ve got a balanced meal in a bowl.

Veggie Packed Couscous Salad with Lemon Oregano Chicken

This delicious recipe takes things to flavor town.

Tender, fluffy, buttery couscous, tossed with crisp tender broccoli and asparagus, sweet bell pepper and tomato, fresh cucumber, parsley, and green onion, briny olives, and tangy feta cheese. A drizzle of lemon-garlic-oregano dressing and a liberal pinch of salt and pepper ties it all together.

What makes it even better?

Marinating chicken in a lemon-garlic-oregano marinade, then grilling for extra smoky flavor, and serving on top of the couscous salad.

Sure, this dish requires a lot of chopping of veggies, but boy, is it worth it. And it makes A TON, so you’ll have plenty of leftovers for lunches during the week. Enjoy!

Veggie Packed Couscous Salad with Lemon Oregano Chicken

Veggie Packed Couscous Salad with Lemon Oregano Chicken-4
Veggie Packed Couscous with Lemon Oregano Chicken
Prep Time
1 hrs
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6
For the chicken:
  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the couscous:
  • 10 ounce uncooked plain couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound asparagus, woody ends removed, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 pound broccoli, florets cut into 1/2 inch pieces, stems saved for another use
  • 2 small red bell peppers, seeded & diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 large English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup halved kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 6 ounces crumbed feta
For the dressing:
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pita bread (optional)
For the chicken:
  1. Add the chicken cutlets to a large ziplock bag or medium baking dish and set aside.

  2. Whisk together the chicken marinade ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper) in a small bowl. 

  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat well. Let rest at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the salad.

For the couscous:
  1. Add the dry couscous, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter to a large heat-proof bowl. Pour two cups of boiling water over the couscous, cover with a large plate, and let steam for five minutes. When the couscous is done cooking, remove the plate, and fluff with a fork. Set aside and let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, add two tablespoons of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet and warm over medium heat. Add the chopped asparagus and broccoli, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are bright green and crisp tender. Add the broccoli and asparagus to the bowl with the couscous and let cool.

  3. While the vegetables and couscous cool, make the dressing. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients (extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper) in a small bowl and set aside. 

  4. When the vegetables and couscous are no longer piping hot, add the bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, green onion, parsley, and feta to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix until evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  5. Finally, warm a grill pan over high heat on the stove. Add the chicken cutlets and cook, about 3 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through & has grill marks. Remove from the grill and let cool for 5 minutes. Slice into strips, and set aside. 

  6. If desired, brush pita bread with plain or garlic olive oil and lightly grill. Serve on the side of the salads. 

  7. When ready to eat, spoon the couscous into individual serving bowls, top with sliced chicken, and enjoy. 

Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp

Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp-4

Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp | Quick, pescatarian pasta dish, with creamy noodles, shrimp, and fresh basil. |

Fried capers.

Have you tried them?

They are magical bites of crispy, salty, briny goodness.

And they make pasta amazing.

Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp | Quick, pescatarian pasta dish, with creamy noodles, shrimp, and fresh basil. |

Especially simple pastas.

Like this spaghetti with lemon-parmesan sauce & pan seared shrimp.

The flavors of this dish, overall, are pretty basic:

  • Tart lemon
  • Salty and savory Parmesan cheese
  • Lusciously smooth & fruity olive oil
  • Buttery & slightly sweet shrimp
  • Fresh and vibrant basil

On their own, this combination of ingredients is pretty solid.

But, sprinkle a few crispy crunchy fried capers on top, and oooo baby, now your dish is SPECIAL.

Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp | Quick, pescatarian pasta dish, with creamy noodles, shrimp, and fresh basil. |

This meal comes together in a snap.

Simply sauté some shallot, and cook the shrimp in the same pan, with a splash of white wine.

When the shrimp is just done cooking, add a pound of cooked spaghetti to the pan, with a little reserved pasta water. Pour in an easy sauce made from olive oil, parmesan, and lemon, and toss in a small handful of basil.

Stir until the noodles and shrimp are coated with a creamy, cheesy, lemony sauce and serve garnished with fresh basil and fried capers.YUM!!!

Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp-4
Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Servings: 4
  • Generous pour of organic canola oil for frying
  • 1 4-oz jar capers, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup sauvignon blanc white wine
  • 1 cup freshly chopped basil
  • Maldon sea salt, for serving
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, for serving
  1. Fill a small skillet with about 1/4 cup canola oil. Warm over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the capers (make sure they are well dried, or they will splatter in the oil) and fry for about 3-5 minutes, or until the capers are puffed open, darkened, and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried capers to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. 

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions, until al dente. When the pasta is done cooking, reserve 3/4 cup of pasta water before draining, then drain the pasta and set aside.

  3. While the pasta cooks, add the 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a medium bowl & whisk until combined. Set aside for later.

  4. When the pasta is done cooking, add the shallot and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet and cook for just 1 or 2 minutes over medium heat until softened. 

  5. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then add to the nonstick skillet containing the shallot. Increase the heat to medium-high, and let cook for about 2 minutes on the first side. Flip the shrimp, and add the wine to the skillet, letting it cook off while the shrimp cook on the second side, about another 2 minutes. 

  6. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pasta, lemon-olive oil-parmesan mixture, 1/4 cup reserved pasta water, and 1/2 cup of the fresh basil. Cook, tossing the pasta with the shrimp and sauce, until well combined. Let cook for a minute or two more, as needed, until the sauce has thickened slightly and coated the noodles. Add more reserved pasta water if the mixture is too dry. 

  7. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, turn off the heat and transfer the pasta to serving bowls. Top each serving with 1/4 of the fried capers, 1/4 of the remaining fresh basil, and season with Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

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