The best rotisserie chicken in Fez16

Posted on August 1, 2009 by ChristieRestaurants, Travel Stories

Rotisserie chicken in Fes, Morocco

Something wonderful happened when I tasted this chicken…

I couldn’t identify all the ingredients! Then I went back a second time and still had trouble working out what was in the marinade.

That hasn’t happened to me in a long time. I’ve come across meals where I’m unsure of the technique but not where I couldn’t identify the flavours.

I was actually very surprised to find that I didn’t feel frustrated with my lack of knowledge (being the perfectionist that I am) but instead was genuinely happy to have such an intriguing puzzle to solve.

I’m hoping my third visit will unlock the key… even more so if I can magically learn French or Arabic and ask the nice men that work there. (Google will help me).

But I’ve jumped ahead a bit, let’s go back a few steps.

We stumbled across this restaurant while walking around dozily in the 45 degree heat. The two large rotisserie cabinets with at least 3 dozen golden brown and juicy chickens really caught our attention! So despite the heat we took a seat and proceeded to speak a hodge-podge of English, French and Arabic to the very friendly waiter.

After a few minutes we realised we’d chosen the worst seats in the house – they were far too close to the burning hot rotisserie cabinets – but then our meals arrived so we stayed put.

We each got a big hunk of chicken (see picture above), a plate of saffron rice, a bowl of spicy harira sauce and a coke. Plus there was a large basket of bread and iced tap water to share. An absolute feast for a total price of approximately AUS$4. Unbelievable.

My marinade dilemma….

I know there’s ground cumin, tumeric and salt (and maybe sumac) but there’s also a herb that I can’t put my finger on. I think it’s used fresh and dried in the marinade and I have a feeling I’ve seen the dried version hanging up in the Medina but I don’t know what it is. It has a lemony tart taste.

Does anyone have any clue what it might be, or if I’m missing any ingredients?

UPDATE 8/8/09 – I did a cooking course yesterday and my teacher cleared this dilemma up for me. Thanks Tariq! The ingredients for the marinade are tumeric, ground ginger, paprika salt, pepper, preserved lemons, dijon mustard, parsley and coriander.

I’m very embarrassed I couldn’t pick the parsley and coriander. I tried fresh coriander at the course yesterday and it tastes slightly different to the one back home – more lemony and less strong – but I still think I should’ve guessed it.

Our second visit

We went back again 2 days later and were greeted with a big smile and a handshake from our elderly waiter. He held his hand out and used his other hand to point to his chest and say ‘Mohammed’. We shook hands and introduced ourselves.

I have feeling he might be the owner and he was super pleased we had come back. So were we!

Even though we went there twice, I forgot to write down the name and address, sorry.  All I know is that it’s in the new part of Fez: Ville Nouvelle. I’ll update this post with more details when I go there next time.

UPDATE 6/8/09: I went back today and the chicken was sooooo good! The place is called Rotisserie Les Quatres Coins and all the staff have coats that say Chez Khalid written on the back.

I still don’t know what the mystery herb is – but Sorrel is a fantastic guess Rachel! (See comments below).

There’s more photos from my trip to Morocco on my flickr account, I’m adding more all the time, hope you enjoy them!

Christie x

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  • What a bargain! Maybe it’s mint….it certainly looks delish!

  • Oprah this week had chef Cat Cora rubbing chicken with cinnamon….Could it be the secret ingredient with some lemon juice/lemon thyme as well?

  • Only $4 unbelievable!!!

  • How fantastic! Yes you know it’s funny I felt the same way when I tried Iron Chef Chen’s dishes. I had no idea what was in them but I knew that the combination of them was so wonderful! Gorgeous pics of Morocca too! x

  • I meant Morocco :P

  • Maybe sorrel?

  • Hah, I know what you mean about being confronted with a dish that you can’t deconstruct so easily. That chicken looks remarkable and if you figure out how to reproduce it I’ll be making it:-)

  • wow that looks delicious. Lucky you….all those lovely flavours!

  • could it simply just be dried lemon peel? or dried lemon or orange leaves? Let me know if you do find out. But that chicken looks amazing!!

  • What fun you’re having! I was thinking along the same lines as Jen – preserved lemons can have a very unusual, tart flavour…?

    Good luck with your investigations.

  • Thanks for your help guys!

    My cooking teacher solved the dilemma for me:

    The ingredients for the marinade are tumeric, ground ginger, paprika, salt, black pepper, preserved lemons, dijon mustard, parsley and coriander.

  • tariq

    hi Christie ! it’s me again Tariq !! just wanted to add a tip to the marinade wich is adding some ground hot chillis and some black pepper to make the chicken hotter !!
    thanx a lot and have a great time in casablanca !!

  • @Tariq – Thanks for dropping by my blog! Mmm, ground chilli would be wonderful for the chicken – I can’t wait to get back home and try and re-create it. Thanks so much for a wonderful class, it will feature on this blog very soon :)

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  • john

    @Christie & @Tariq, any chance you could post the proportions or the marinade? Is it an even amount for each ingredient? Loved your post, I’m hungry!

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