Makes 8 servings
There is a distinct flavor combination in this dish that will transport you to Morocco. You can ask the butcher at your market to make a boneless, tied roast from a good-sized chicken. When the bird is rolled up, the diameter should be about 4 inches. You can also use this recipe for boneless turkey breasts; increase the grilling time to completely cook this large roast, however.
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp crushed saffron threads
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 fryer chickens, 3 lb each, boned, rolled, and tied
2 tsp salt, or as needed
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup chicken broth
1½ cups small-dice sweet onion
1¼ cups small-dice carrots
5 tsp honey
¾ cup toasted walnuts
8 slices cantaloupe
To make a spice cure for the chicken: Mix together the olive oil with the cinnamon, cumin, coriander, saffron, chili powder, and cayenne. Let the cure rest for one hour to allow the flavors to combine.
Blot the chickens dry with paper towels. Season with some of the salt and the minced garlic. Brush the chickens with ¼ cup of the spice cure. Cover, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least two and up to 12 hours. (Reserve the remaining ¼ cup of the spice cure for the sauce.)
Preheat a gas grill to medium; leave one burner off. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with a moderate coating of white ash. Spread the coals in an even bed on one side of the grill. Clean the cooking grate.
Bring the broth to a simmer. Add the onion, carrots, the reserved spice cure, and the honey. Simmer until the sauce is flavorful and reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste with a little of the remaining salt, if desired. Keep the sauce warm (or, if you made the sauce in advance, cool it and store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days).
Remove the chicken from the spice cure, letting any excess drain off. Grill the chicken over direct heat until marked on all sides, about three minutes per side. Finish the chicken over indirect heat, turning every 10 to 12 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (165°F) and the juices run clear, 30 to 40 minutes more.
Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before carving into slices. Garnish the sliced chicken with the walnuts and cantaloupe slices, and serve the reserved sauce on the side.