Make a Ras-el-Hanout Spice Blend for Moroccan Chicken Skillet, Chai Tea, and More



Having special spice mixtures ready at hand on the spice rack makes preparing exotic dishes quick and easy. Keep your blends in an airtight spice jar and make fresh every year. I couldn’t find ready-blended Ras-el-Hanout even in my upscale grocery, so I mixed up my own. I looked at blends by a few chefs, a few more online and created my own.

Ras-el-Hanout is a blend of common spices that gives extraordinary flavor excitement to something as simple as a one skillet chicken dinner. If your grocery (or a friend’s) has a bulk spice department, you’re in luck picking up small amounts of whatever spices you don’t have on hand. For larger amounts of spices, I like Atlantic Spice.

While you acquire the spices, you’ll probably want to make some fresh preserved lemons, which will often be paired with the Ras-el-Hanout. Go here for an easy method of preparing your own homemade. When you need the extra lemon juice for the preserved lemons, be sure to pull the peel off the lemons first and candy these for your stash of frozen Pantry Essentials. (Read how to do that here.) No work involved. I tuck the finished lemon peel into a freezer bag, add a little of the syrup left, and put it into the freezer for all sorts of future treats, such as lemon pound cake, Christmas Stollen, and panetonne.

I’ll start with a small quantity of spice — after you’ve made the chicken skillet, you’ll probably want to triple the amounts and mix up a bigger jar. There are a lot of ingredients, just assemble them along with your mortar and pestle or spice grinder so that blending takes just a few mouth-watering, aromatic minutes.

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