Moroccan Chicken

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I really love chicken legs. Maybe because they come with their own handle, or maybe because they’re also called “drumsticks”, which reminds me of those yummy ice cream treats. . . but I digress.

This delectable chicken is coated with olive oil, lemon juice, and lots of fragrant spices, and is allowed to marinate for at least 24-48 hours. Be patient; the tender flavorful chicken will be worth the wait.

Moroccan Chicken

I broiled my chicken, but this would also be great on the grill. The cooking time should be about the same.

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 2 large lemons
4 teaspoons sea salt
4 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 pounds (approx.) chicken legs

For the marinade, mix all of the ingredients, other than the chicken, together in a large zip top bag. Add the chicken to the bag, seal the bag, and then toss to coat the chicken. Place the bag in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 24-48 hours, turning the bag every 12 hours.

When ready to cook the chicken, move an oven rack to the lowest position in the oven, and move another oven rack near the top of the oven, about 5 inches from the heating element. Preheat the broiler.

Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil, and place the slotted broiler pan on top. Remove the chicken from the bag and place it on the broiler pan, skin-side down. Discard the marinade.

Broil the chicken on the bottom rack of the oven for about 12-16 minutes, or until the chicken begins to brown. Use tongs to turn the chicken skin-side up and continue broiling on the bottom rack for another 10-15 minutes, or until the meat registers 165 degrees. Move the chicken to the upper rack and broil until the chicken is well-browned, and the skin is crispy, about 1 minute.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Parmesan Basil Orzo with Shrimp

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This looks like something you would eat at a fancy restaurant, but it is simple to make and it tastes amazing. The mild orzo, flavored with parmesan and fresh basil, is a wonderful a compliment to the marinated shrimp which is bursting with flavor.

Ingredients
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more, if you like it spicy)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
2 cups chicken broth (maybe a bit more)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, garlic, ketchup, oregano, salt and black pepper. Add the shrimp and stir until they are well coated. Refrigerate for about 1 hour (I’ve heard that too much lemon juice can give shrimp a weird texture, so don’t let them sit in the marinade for too long).

About 25 minutes before you cook the shrimp, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, stir in the orzo and sauté until golden brown, stirring frequently.

Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the orzo is tender. Watch the skillet carefully, and add additional chicken broth if needed.

Mix in the parmesan cheese, basil, spinach, salt, and pepper. Stir until the spinach is wilted.

Heat another large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the shrimp to the skillet, along with about 1/2 cup of the marinade. Cook the shrimp, stirring frequently until pink and cooked through.

To serve, place a large spoonful of the orzo onto a plate, top with several shrimp, and drizzle some of the sauce from the skillet over the top.

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